Poetry Matters

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Tonight I actually wanted to write about some of my favourite books and their authors. For some reason though I am inspired to write about poetry. The picture above was taken on the 2nd of April. It is a bit overexposed, can use a bit more contrast while the sharpness can be slightly better. I like the picture because it shows what connects me, my inner photographer and my environment with one look at the sky. Light enables perception, gives life and inspires.

Inspiration leads to poetry and thus shines a light on why poetry matters. Like photography poetry can act like a picture and tell a story. In a poem this story is formulated in words, sentences and paragraphs. There are often more interpretations and ways of reading and performing a particular poem. It has been through poems, otherwise called verses or rhymes that history and experience has been passed on for millennia in human civilisation.

Since I was able to read I read everything I would find interesting. Language and access to knowledge have been major factors to my development as a person. From the rhythmic Bible verses to Annie M.G. Schmidt, Shakespeare, the phenomenal Dante, the versatile Louis Couperus to the rough Charles Bukowski I have discovered many beautiful ways of say “life is …”

My favourite format for poetry is the haiku. There are several origin stories for this concise poem. What is certain is that it is Japanese and its cultural value is of great value in Japan. The haiku is known for its 5-7-5 stanza rule. Each line has a number of syllables and the haiku as a whole is generally dedicated to one topic. Matsuo Basho is probably the most famous haiku poet but I prefer the works of Kobayashi Issa. Style and structure of the story told make the difference. I am fortunate to have found a decent anthology of translations to notice the differences. I have Faubion Bowers’ anthology from Dover Publications.

The art and technique of writing haikus is one of the most rewarding things to read and practise in my opinion. Poetry matters because it inspires.


A haiku is short

Human life is not lasting

The story still counts


The clock ticks away

Mere seconds feel like ages

Past moments linger


Things happen in life

Often I wonder why, how?

Then I choose and live


I live and choose now

When all is done time confronts

To learn and exist


That which inspires

A water drop or sunshine

Adds meaning to life


Poems move the mind

The inspired person acts

Poetry moves