Cleopatra Mathis, the Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor of the Art of Writing in the Department of English, talks with Vermont Public Radio about why poetry is important, and why people aren’t comfortable with it.
“People think because a poem doesn’t give an answer to a question, doesn’t spell things out in a very clear way, that some how there is this ‘dumbness’ about poetry,” says Mathis. “Like, ‘I don’t know the key to figuring out what this means, therefore I am not going to engage.’ ”
She continues, “It’s not so much about meaning as it is about engagement with a whole sense of what the language evokes in you and the questions it makes you ask that bring you back and back again to poems.”
Listen to the full story, broadcast 5/6/13 on VPR.