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“I think that’s what poetry does. It allows people to come together and identify with a common thing that is outside of themselves, but which they identify with from the interior.”

Diane Wakoski

“I think it’s often assumed that the role of poetry is to comfort, but for me, poetry is the great unsettler. It questions the established order of the mind. It is radical, by which I don’t mean that it is either leftwing or rightwing, but that it works at the roots of thinking.

Alice Oswald

Afternoon folks! Welcome back to my weekly Poetry Quotes Blog where we reflect on some favourite poetry quotes of mine; break them down; analyse them and apply them to our lives as poets and readers alike! Hope you enjoy the read! 🙏🤞📖😁

First quote’s first. I picked Diane Wakoski’s quote because I’ve always been a firm believer in the capacity of poetry to bring people of different backgrounds together. Because the theme/subject of the poems such as romance; death of a loved one; birth of a baby; marriage; search for truth etc are shared human experiences with which we can all identify because they happen to us! We find kindred spirits who have also been through what we’ve been through.

But we feel the impact of these experiences deep inside us (in our hearts; souls & minds), with feelings such as pain; grief; loss; joy; happiness; pride: confusion and anger to name but a few. And we find comfort in that, that someone who wrote this poem could understand and speak to what we’re going through!

However, as Alice Oswald rightly goes on to say, the primary purpose of poetry isn’t necessarily just to comfort a person or offer them solace. It is to “unsettle” them; to disturb them; to challenge their way of thinking and get them to question themselves as to why they think the way they do!

Some of the finest poets in history, especially here in Ireland, had wrote poetry questioning the status quo of the current political system. They progressed from writing to fighting in the Irish War of Independence. MacDonagh; Pearse; Connolly and MacBride are their names. So poetry is not just a source of comfort or a place for pretty words but the beginning of rebellion against oppression, the longing for and beginning of change; radical change!

That’s all for this week folks! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this blog. 🙏😊📖 Looking forward to seeing and reading your feedback! 😁😁 Until next week, mind yourselves; stay creative and take care.



Add yours

  1. I agree that poetry starts with a universal experience. That can be a comfort but also a connection. It is the connection, when the shared feelings are ones of injustice, that can lead to action and a banding together of like-minded people. This is why tyrants first suppress the journalists and writers and poets as well. They don’t want that sense of community to become established outside of what they dictate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Muri! 👍😁💯 The shared universal experience of poetry leads to a connection who in turn leads to a community and a strength and determination that comes with that! True, its always the writers and poets they suppress first. But the pen is mightier than the sword! 🖋️😁


  2. I like and agree with the Alice Oswald quote, Ken. When you look at the history of poetry, even the greatest poets were trying to unsettle the status quo which existed in their time. Maybe poetry is a form of internal rebellion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Davy! 👍💯 Dylan Thomas; Oscar Wilde etc all unsettled the system with their poetry. I believe it is too! 😁 A rebellion against what is going on inside them and outside.

      Liked by 1 person

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