Myra Schneider asks, “Who is poetry for?”

This is not just a thought (and action) provoking essay, by Myra Schneider, but it is filled with useful links, suggestions for action and lateral thinking. Ever since I started writing poetry, primarily as part of my personal story for my family and future generations of it, I have been increasingly struck by a feeling that I need to do something more than I do, at present, to promote its value more widely in the community.

Myra’s statement: “… there is often no more potent a way of expressing and communicating vital aspects of life and thought” is also a crucial description of poetry.

This piece gives a much needed insight into its value and a boost to the cause of poetry.

THE BeZINE

1815_coversNote: This full-length feature article is presented as an appropriate wrap after celebrating interNational Poetry Month (April). The feature was originally published by ARTEMISpoetry (13 November 2013) and is delivered here with the permission of the publisher (Second Light Live) and the author, Myra Schneider. Although Myra discusses poetry in Britain, we feel her observations apply to other countries as well. Jamaica only just appointed a poet laureate for the first time in fifty years. This month in the U.S. King Features Syndicate partnered with the American Academy of Poets to present poetry to the general public along with the news, which hasn’t been done in the U.S. for more than a generation.

Some months ago at one of the twice-yearly poetry readings, which I help organize for Poetry in Palmers Green, a woman I didn’t know, turned to me as she was leaving and said apologetically: ‘I’m afraid I don’t write poetry.’…

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About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates As a young man, John enjoyed being fit and sporting. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines as Gordonstoun, giving shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. This fitness was enhanced by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, by selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a forty-seven year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and a mixed barbershop quartet, Needle & Fred. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club). He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is often autobiographical and frequently pins his colours to the mast. In 2013, he completed an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of nine poets, who met on Twitter. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
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