Why we need poetry

In the gardens of the hotel where I was running a leadership event earlier this week, I was lucky enough to come across the artist and poet Robert Montgomery setting up one of his evocative fire poems as part of an exhibition.

Good poetry does something vitally important that’s often unappreciated, expressing in language that which is otherwise very difficult to say in words. It can give us language for our longing, for new possibilities that we haven’t yet seen, and ways of connecting with and remembering our humanity when we’ve forgotten it ourselves.

We’ve all but excluded the poetic from our work lives – and from much of wider life – another consequence of our seeming commitment to reduce everything an everyone to an ‘it’ that can be measured and manipulated.

Robert’s work offers us a hauntingly beautiful alternative.

Here’s the poem I saw in the June twilight:

TO WAKE UP AND BE LIKE THE
WEATHER. TO BE NO LONGER THE
BROKEN HEARTED SERVANTS
OF MAD KINGS

Images courtesy of Robert Montgomery