We begin each morning together on the red carpet with a poem- from sonnet to limerick to ballade to hymn and on through any form or un-form imaginable, Robert Frost, George Herbert, Eugene Fields, Lewis Carroll, Herman Hesse, WB Yeats, Eugene Ionesco, Mother Goose, Auden, the sublime rubbing shoulders with the silly.
Literary essays, novels, articles, essays, scientific papers, and textbooks enable us to explore, ponder, and discuss many beautiful things, creatures, and ideas. This is undisputable and quite obvious. No amount of rationalistic description, however, can convey to us what it feels like to be inlove or to seek the sacred in the ache of a long day. To study these hallowed chambers of life requires the assistance of poetry and song- words arranged aiming not to provide THE account but to linger upon and live and sense various aspects of the accounting process itself.
The child who can discuss anatomy and football yet who shudders, frustrated and mute, in the face of love- finding no words to honor this experience, no form in which to share it with others- is a sad and uneducated child indeed. For he has been taught only one part of a bigger puzzle. He will gain his instruction in lust from the magazines lining the grocery store aisles, the movies, and the homogenizing banter of friends and fellows. But this burdensome lust will lack something bigger to magnify.
To offer poetry, a daily dose, as it were, is to provide a young heart and mind with a means of reproach against the sordid banality of groupthink, the dull-witted profanity of everyday life. It arms you with the possibility of meaning and hope; it awakens and nourishes a sense of awe for the sublime and unspeakable, for the wonder and the mystery. So feed them fairies and legends, tales of wonder and magic. And put the gift of poetry on their tiny tongues so they may learn to speak about the soul stirring beneath and throughout.