Functions of poetry

“Poetry, like all art, has a trinitarian function: creative, redemptive, and sanctifying,” Vassar Miller asserted. “It is creative because it takes the raw materials of fact and feeling and makes them into that which is neither fact nor feeling. Redemptive because it transforms pain, ugliness of life into joy, beauty. Sanctifying because it gives the transitory a relative form of meaning.”

Brain Pickings 22/11/2016

How true! Of the three functions cited here, I think the first one is closest to my own idea of what poetry does. Poetry transforms a drab fact or a plain detail into a beautiful keepsake. As we go along in our lives, we keep collecting them as our own private little trophies to inspect and admire at leisure. The second one is also relevant to our experience. Poetry transforms the ugly facts of our life into enduring tokens of beauty. It takes away the pain from a memory, translates it into a bearable experience .The third one is relatively less significant but has some usefulness .Being conscious of the transitory nature of all experiences takes away their meaning . Poetry ,in the way it universalizes them,invests them with meaning and permanence.

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Retired banker with poetry and photography as chief interests

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