The Power of Poetry

TWo open books and a cup of tea on a table. There are also flowers on the table. The photo is taken from above.

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words

- Robert Frost, a renowned American poet

Learning English can be an intimidating task, courtesy of the unyielding grammatical and syntactical rules, as well as the daunting principles of sentence formation and punctuation. What adds to this unbending image is the rigid method in which this language is taught in schools—as an endless series of rules meant to be obeyed when one pens down thoughts and beliefs. But sometimes, following standard axioms can be a hindrance to a student’s creativity. After all, scores of people have broken these rules and have left their marks on the history of literature. As said by Vivek Wadhwa, an American entrepreneur, “a key ingredient in innovation is the ability to challenge authority and break rules”. And when it comes to challenging the rules of English grammar, there is no better form that does so than the poetic one.

In an educational scenario that overplays the importance of rules that ought not to be defied, poetry invariably becomes a tragically underrepresented subject taught in schools. However, introducing the wonders of poetry into a classroom can benefit students in a myriad of ways. By incorporating the many poetic devices (such as metaphors, alliterations and onomatopoeias) into their writings, students can find an effective portal to express the thoughts that are not easily expressed in essays or articles. The utter lack of rigidity in the realm of poetry, coupled with its kinship with vibrant words, has been found to help the introverted ink their emotions in a steady flow of eloquent verse and imagery. All in all, it helps students find a way to represent themselves.

Apart from improving a student’s linguistic skills, perusing the many written poems is also exceedingly enlightening—for it gains students new insights into the viewpoints of people who lived in different ages. Furthermore, it introduces them to new styles and forms of writing, whether they are studying the many diverse works of Shakespeare, Rime of the Ancient Mariner or The Song of the Jellicles; each piece carries with it its own taste, color, and voice… And appreciating this fact widens students’ empathetic tolerance and opinions regarding different people, and helps make them more informed and culturally aware citizens.

All in all, poetry is an essential component of education in a world that is growing more diverse by the day. Its major benefit, however, is the freedom it bestows upon those who decide to write in verse. Since the poetic form operates on aesthetics, passion and personal interpretations, rather than on predetermined guidelines, it inevitably becomes a liberating force for students learning the English language. Certainly, the rules of grammar and punctuation should not be neglected, but sometimes it is beneficial to transcend the norms of language, and to enter a realm distinctive to one’s personality. And this is precisely how poetry helps those who study it with passion.