Can Poetry Move Mountains? A Mystery


David Orr writes of options for poetry‘s purpose in his book Beautiful and Pointless. Do these two words in his title sum it up?

Poetry; beautiful, thought-provoking, humorous, but in the end pointless? I don’t think so, but then again if you have a cause like Save The Elephants, would you use poetry?

Maybe those trying already do so through advertising, but aren’t the words then called jingles? I think of the poetry of the biblical psalms or proverbs. I think of Dante‘s Inferno, Leaves of Grass, did any of these move mountains? Are they now? How about Kipling’s “If”?

We have a lot of things that need saving. How can writers help? Is poetry one of our ways?

5 thoughts on “Can Poetry Move Mountains? A Mystery

  1. Carole Webber December 27, 2013 / 11:44 am

    Why does anyone want to move mountains ? Way too heavy and impossible.

    For some poetry is the best expression, music, art, essays, fiction can all have the influence one may want to achieve. I am partial to poetry because I like it.,it takes a lot of thought to compose, to express the poet’s point of view and to put it succinctly.
    Art sparks my imagination and draws me in to the artist’s thinking, I would like to have that talent..

    I cannot move mountains but maybe I can move someone;s thinking

    • fictionfitz December 27, 2013 / 4:02 pm

      Your good at playing the percentages.

  2. New Hampshire Garden Solutions December 27, 2013 / 7:22 pm

    Poetry certainly isn’t pointless but I’m not sure using it would be the best way to get people to donate to a cause. Using it to make people aware of a problem or to see one differently yes, but I think a more succinct, direct approach is better when asking people to do something.
    If moving mountains includes changing the way that society thinks about cultural issues then yes, I think poetry can move mountains.

    • fictionfitz December 27, 2013 / 7:47 pm

      Well said, lots to think about in your words.

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