By JOANNA KASPE
April is the first annual National Poetry Month, designed to bring attention to poetry, increasing the general public’s awareness.
Throughout the community, businesses such as Barnes & Noble are taking part in the awareness.
“Basically, our whole store is devoted to poetry month. We have a new poem posted every day, and our window display is full of poetry items,” said Wade Douglas, manager of Barnes & Noble.
“Poetry is very important. One of the benefits of poetry is that it teaches you to write with precision and to think that way too. It is regarded as a high art form among those who practice literature, said Susan Howe, poet, and poetry teacher in the English department.
“Often, there seems to be a bias against poetry, that it is difficult to understand and sometimes boring. But that isn’t generally true,” Howe said.
“There is some poetry that is difficult to understand, but there is a large group of it that is fun and humorous. Many other poems are so powerful in conveying imagery, that it opens you up to a whole new experience,” Howe said.
All art forms are an expression of the human spirit, and since it is an art form of language, it is a very powerful tool, she said.
“In every other country, the poets are almost considered dangerous, because they are the ones who examine what’s happening around them, and give it meaning,” Howe said. “They are often times the first to be arrested in situations of political or social unrest, especially when there is an attempt to surpass democracy.”
“A poet I worked with told me that in Russia, they had an International Poetry Conference, and it was broadcast on prime-time T.V. four hours a night, for one week. They consider poetry to be that important.” she said.
Poetry gives a group an identity as a culture, and if we lose that, we lose a great power, Howe said