Sometimes a poem is an ode to love, or a nonsense verse, or a sonnet. Let's consider a function of poetry: this man was a hostage in Beirut, who well after his release wrote a poem. Writing his poem may have had value for the writer, and poetry can also have value for communities. This British poet wrote this poem three months after 9/11. He says there seems to be an urge to communicate through poetry, so poetry can be a kind of record of detailed snapshot in words. Richard Nixon even used a quote from a Russian poet to urge disarmament on Gorbachev. Other political poetry is out and out propaganda.
GlobalPost.com is now PRI.org
GlobalPost and PRI have joined forces to expand in-depth global news reporting to create a more informed, connected and empathetic world.Learn why See GlobalPost stories Dismiss