Why Poetry Matters

Two students from one of the high schools read their poems in honor of women’s history month at the City of Oshkosh – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion meeting. Angie Lee came up with this idea during our conversation on how poetry can promote DEI.

These poems are important.  Defining why, however, is taking some time.  At first, I thought it was because they are not confrontational.  They are the equivalent to I statements, This is how I feel. Perhaps partly.  However, they are rightfully confrontational.

Perhaps it is because they speak the truth. They are not social media positions determined to provoke a strong reaction. A knee-jerk gotcha, but a well-thought-out communication of true feelings where the poets put their thoughts to paper before considering the audience.

We need more people to tell their story and their truth. Poetry is a powerful way to do it. Some people think that racism no longer exists in America and that women have equal footing. Would they get angry at these poems.  Something in me tells me know.  That poetry promotes understanding as it gives a chance for people to express their true feelings.

They might still believe racism is gone but imagine the insight they might give if they had to respond in a poem.


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