Why Even Learn About Poetry?


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English dramatist Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593), 1585. This is the only known portrait of him.

Bryant Newlon

Why is poetry even part of our curriculum?

I have asked this question many times only to be told “We can’t forget the past” or “We all need to know how to write poetry”. Poetry was part of our history but with where we are now as a society, poetry isn’t needed in daily life. For example a scientist doesn’t need to understand Shakespeare’s 20th sonnet in order to perform his work and a construction worker doesn’t need to write poetry in order to work at a construction site.

With this being said we still learn it as children but what still confuses me is why? Why do we learn poetry? Where is it used in our future? When will I need this?

I don’t believe we should toss poetry aside and forget it entirely. I think that poetry should be part of an optional elective so that people who are pursuing a career in a stem field for example can focus their efforts on what they choose as their future. We as a society should allow our children to choose what they want to learn about after middle school. “There is no point in learning something if you aren’t going to use it” says Max Close. If someone wants to learn about poetry that is their choice, We shouldn’t criticize someone for their choices.

Poetry is not a skill used in everyday life but it is not obsolete. Poetry is used in many things but to have it required is completely narrow-sighted. Music for example uses poetry to portray feelings and is delightful for almost everyone. Electrical engineers, accountants, and fast food workers for example don’t use poetry to perform their jobs.

Why do we learn poetry, where is it used in our future, when will I need this?

In the end I will never think poetry is important for the future but should never be thrown out like a bag of garbage on garbage day.