Why Poetry Matters

To celebrate National Poetry Month, LitWorld's Founder, Pam Allyn, shares the power of poetry to unite us and create community, and also to set us free. 

"Poetry is how we say to the world, and to each other, "I am here." Some of my most beloved poets -- Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Billy Collins and Naomi Shihab Nye -- talk about poetry as a way to document the world and our common experiences, to say what needs to be said in a direct, powerful and beautiful way.

After 9/11, when poetry was flowing in a steady and necessary stream across the Internet, someone asked Billy Collins why that phenomenon was happening and he said: "Because poetry tells the story of the human heart." Poems were the kind of urgent and comforting storytelling we needed then, and the kinds of stories we need every day. Poetry matters to the little girl in Philippines who is discovering who she is and why her language sounds like a song in her poem. It matters to the boy in foster care who is trying to find new ways to express his frustrations, but also his deepest dreams. It matters to Syrian refugees who are longing to hold tight to their dearest memories of home and to tell their stories of strength and resilience going forward. "

Click to read the full piece on HuffPost Books.