Even more now than ever we need poetry for further comprehension. We live in a world where leaders are being lead by misinformation over facts and a lot of them, it’s evident don’t read.
With truly good poetry, you have to choose your words for a certain impact and meaning. There are a lot of people who would rather watch things than read them, and things specifically need to be crafted for further understanding. Reading requires your own brain power, whereas with watching, you just receive the program or movie you’re watching and you can choose what you want to do with that. We need the beauty of language to do more than just communicate entertainment.
Some poets code messages in their work as well. You can face harm or retribution for certain political leanings but if the average person can’t get what you’re trying to say or you can tip others off to what you’re saying than you can get away with it. Books of nonfiction and stories have been banned in the past but to my knowledge that hasn’t happened for poetic texts, a testament to the craft of writing it. It’s so much more beautiful today to code what you’re trying to say in poetry.
Lastly, I write nonfictional poetry, I’m even doing it from my bed right now. I have been recently diagnosed with MS in addition to my already known ailments of depression, anxiety & narcolepsy. I’m someone who has a compromised immune system in has to keep social distancing or risk serious harm. After my MS diagnosis I started to notice my memory was going, which hampers my ability to perform poetry, but not write it. It still provides me a medium to speak out my thoughts and emotions with others. It’s that connectivity, that sense of community that keeps humans going.
If poetry can aid in the continuation of humanity in such a way, than I feel that there’s nothing that poetry cannot do.
Deonte Osayande is a writer from Detroit, Mi. His nonfiction and poetry have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, the Pushcart Prize and he’s had a book nominated for a Digital Book Award. He has represented Detroit at four National Poetry Slam competitions.