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Poetry is power.

Throughout most of history poets have been regarded as touched or blessed by the gods. They have been a powerful segment of society. Often, they have been part of the establishment. Their poetry and powers were often seen as akin to casting a spell, and who didn’t sit spellbound at their words? In these latter days of our western civilization, poets often seem to be on the other side, the anti-establishment. Woody Guthrie was a traveling minstrel, the workingman’s poet. Many singer-songwriters have similar takes on life. They grew up poor or in the middle class. No longer is literacy and the ability to have a life idle enough to write confined to the upper strata of society. Anyone born in any class within today’s western civilization can aspire to be and become a poet. With that democratization of poetry has come a certain fall from exaltation. No longer does every king need a poet, although many countries and smaller political divisions have poet laureates. The main power of poetry now is in music, popular music especially. Some poets make millions of dollars through their words and music. These often are full-blown entertainers who sing and dance and write music, as well as the poetry in the form of song lyrics. Although poetry is not so exalted as it once was, it still carries power in our society. Use your power.

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