July 21, 2018
WHY TRY POETRY?
This piece is written by Mikaela Dizon, our guest writer in Write Things.
less is more
by Mikaela Dizon
i don’t understand
why people read and read
but pick up a poetry book
and can’t read more —
even though the words
even though less is more.
actually i do understand
i was once like that too
less seemed like more
and thus what did i
have to conquer fear for?
i felt that to hold wisdom
in the palm of my hands
meant i stood no chance.
little did i know:
less is more,
and poetry would keep me grounded —
poetry would be my core.
Just recently, I wrote “less is more,” which is a poem about how poetry is often taken for granted. Many people who don’t read poetry are hindered by their fear of complicated words and mixed-up phrases. But poetry is what connects humanity; it’s what serves life up on a platter, saying: “take it with a grain of salt”. At a young age, I did not enjoy poetry either because I was hindered by that same fear. However as I grew up, it began to appeal to me (after a little push from friends and writing peers) because as humans, we crave for life to be served up on a platter when things get tough, or empty, or even overwhelming. There’s a poem for basically every emotion we experience.
There are many poems that helped me eventually gain a love for poetry, but my favorites are: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, and a simple poem from a poetry book entitled “milk and honey”. Each of the poems I listed aren’t just a bunch of those mixed-up phrases that people are afraid may take hours to understand. Rather, they are poems that spoke to me right when I needed them to. A few years ago when I wanted to take up an opportunity, The Road Not Taken helped me make the brave decision. When I was quarreling with my peers and my family I let Desiderata whisper about the values that life thirsted for. When I am overwhelmed, a poem from milk and honey scribbles a raw truth everywhere I look.
We can’t pass by our lives not knowing what it is to read poetry. Like I mentioned in “less is more,” poetry is our core—just like how plants need water, humans need poetry.
“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” — Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata
“Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by.” — Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken
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