Poetry is Pointless

A highly controversial article in which the author argues that “poetry is pointless”.

“To summarise, poetry can offer nothing music or books cannot. It is less creative and analysed to a point of mind-numbing repetitiveness. Poetry is extremely
boring and one dimensional and it often comes across as confusing and obscure. It does not carry the same complexity as music and is unenjoyable for most
audiences. Poetry in contemporary society merely a forgotten relic of Shakespearean times”. (https://medium.com/@diofer225/poetry-is-pointless-46b08731e95a)

As a poet, I disagree profoundly with the contention that “poetry is pointless”. However, I think the author of this diatribe against poetry has a point when he states that children can come to dislike poetry owing to them being forced to analyse poems. Whilst I firmly believe that the analysis of poetry is valuable, if such analysis is done in the wrong manner (I.E. the student being told that the poem has only one meaning, and that his/her own perspective on the poem is irrelevent) then I can completely understand why students are put off poetry. Students should be encouraged to furnish their own perspectives on poetry (and, of course back these up with evidence), thereby enhancing both their interest in poetry and their ability to think critically.

As for the view that poetry is less complex than music, anyone who has read “The Wasteland” knows this perspective for the nonsense that it patently is. The truth is that both music and poetry can be complex, but neither art form is necessarily so.

I am amused by the author’s view that poetry can offer nothing which books can not. Does he not know that many poems are printed in books!

In conclusion, ultimately the author of the article dislikes poetry and in support of his/her anti-poetry stance picks a few articles which, he/she claims, support his perspective. The article is more a diatribe against poetry rather than a serious piece of argumentation.

10 thoughts on “Poetry is Pointless

  1. tidalscribe

    A blanket statement for sure. Yes music can do what words can’t – especially as it does not need language – but poetry can do what novels and lengthy articles cannot do. A few words can put across meaning.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting. I agree with the points you make, particularly, “but poetry can do what novels and lengthy articles
      cannot do. A few words can put across meaning”.

      Best, Kevin

  2. blindzanygirl

    Poetry can move in ways that nothing else can do. It can change lives. I could give examples. Poetry is NOT pointless. It edifies both piet and reader. It gets beneath the skin like nothing else can

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      I agree with you, Lorraine, although I accept that there are people (not you and I) who can not (for whatever reason) relate to poetry. I find this sad as, I am sure do you. Best, Kevin

      1. blindzanygirl

        Yes this is true Kevin. But we are not all the same are we. I don’t relate very well to science, or woodwork for instance! I guess what works regarding poetry, works. And not all poems will work for all people who like poetry. Interesting subject Kevin

  3. robbiesinspiration

    I understand how some learners feel about poetry, Kevin. Both my sons become frustrated with being marked incorrect for having a different view on a poem. I personally find poetry to be a tight and eloquent way of expressing a view or sharing a moment. In my opinion, songs are poems set to music.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comment, Robbie. I hope that your children’s frustration with analysing poetry does not cause them to develop a dislike of the art form. I agree with you that poems are songs set to music. Indeed it sometimes amuses me when people say that they dislike poetry but, almost in the same breath, say how much they enjoy music! Best, Kevin


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