Poetry. This word can be met with a variety of reactions, whether vexed sighs from wearied classmates or excited applause from those such as myself, who crave the beautiful language and resonance of a truly great poem. Unfortunately, the latter is abundantly harder to come across.
With unenthusiastic teachings of well-renowned poems such as “The Road Not Taken,” one every student must be familiar with due to its redundancy in the classroom, and little room for a unit surrounding this art in the English curriculum. Poetry has faded throughout the years, with scarce new poets and writers emerging from the inspiration of those buried. Perhaps there is a misconception that poetry is dull. Yes, perhaps there is a false perception that poetry merely talks of the fragile delicacies of the natural world, sentiments received by countless yawns and bore. However, this art can be dramatic and awe-invoking and as tragic or ghastly as the reader may desire. This dramatic tone can be captured flawlessly by one man in particular, Edgar Allan Poe.
The incredulous ability Poe possesses to paint a scene with words and brilliant rhyme schemes allows the reader to divulge in not only a poem, but a story as he uses creative repetition and imagery to tell of his fascinating tales. My personal favorite, as well as most likely the best known of his works, is a poem entitled “The Raven.” Following the tale of a man as he grieves his lost lover, Lenore, and then is stupefied by the presence of a raven showing at his chamber as it drives the poor griever mad with the word “Nevermore,” this poem keeps the reader on their toes as they feel the frustration and agony of this timeless story.
However, it is the hidden metaphors that allow “The Raven” to completely shine. Merely in the title of this poem, the bird highlighted is one that is said to cross between heaven and earth, strengthening the prospect of the animal affecting the main character’s grief, as it can be assumed the man thought the bird of some spiritual significance to his lost lover in the clouds. The poem in itself is a classic and a must read for those who love a good horror.
Edgar Allan Poe’s incredible storytelling abilities are notable, yet it is even more so his vivid imagery and emotion that makes his poetry distinct. This is especially true in Poe’s “A Dream Within A Dream.” The mental scenery extracted from this poem is incredible as he writes
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand
This is yet only a fragment of a stanza from this awe-invoking piece. Merely consisting of two stanzas, this poem is an easy effortless and beautiful source of inspiration for a budding poet. This fantastic imagery can also be extracted from the poem “Annabel Lee.” Many might be familiar with this tale from previous studies, featuring an unwavering love story intertwined with the cruel mischiefs of fate and loss.
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
And so, how might this relate to Albany High School? As a reader you may be befuddled, wondering why on earth you received a mere lesson about yet another buried white man. However, poetry is more than those who have famously created the literature of which the English curriculum surrounds. It is an expression of emotion, whether that of vulnerability or pride, grief or rejoice, glee or sorrow. It is an outlet of sentiments that may not be expressed without that smooth stroke of the pen. It is what so many find solace in, with the knowledge that one understands their emotions so well as to add many a rhyme and metaphor. This emotion that poetry provides, notably that of Edgar Allan Poe, is something that well-nigh everybody can take away from.
According to Albany High School Junior, Aliyah Rivera, “I really like poetry because it’s a great way to express your feelings and spread messages to other people.” After all, with so much discontent and fear in the modern world, why not shut one’s eyes to the constant chatter of bantering politicians and feared officials, and divulge in the world of a poem instead?