Poetry Is Everything

by Philip F. Clark

If I were to read nothing except poetry for the remainder of my life, I would still learn about every human emotion, endeavor, and struggle. I would have continual insight into what makes us tick, cry, laugh, and get mad; I would have all there is to know about how we are in constant companionship with the great ideas and the small ones. I would be introduced to the entire world and every example of its inhabitants — their lives, their cities, their politics and their hopes. Novels and non-fiction give these things to us in some ways, but never in the way that poetry does. Poetry is a full life, because it is a life of observation and questioning; of joy in the surprise of seeing, finally seeing, our existence through a language of the here and now and a clairvoyance of the possible.