As stated in the quote by C.S. We're talking about a global village with a YouTube tech resource beyond standard TV, films and video-on-demand. In a word, cultural freedom on this plane starts with the acknowledgement of the right of a culture to be itself. Burt seems to be stacking and storing different types of poetry in a container ship, removed and protected from the world as it journeys across the sea. Exposing oneself to good literary works, is equivalent to providing one with the finest of … One good reason to read poems from distant times and places is that they take us out of our society, showing us how much emotion and thought isn't social (for, about, or addressed to one particular society) at all. Lewis, literature not only describes reality but also adds to it. i'm senior in high school and we have senior projects to do mine is on poetry and how it affects a persons mood. Plato need not have stewed about poets, you seem to be saying. are some things you could consider in placing a text in ‘context’: Although any or all of these features can be important when writing about a poem, the poem itself should be at the centre of your discussion. They have it tough. No names have been released. Stephanie (also Steph; formerly Stephen) Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. Culture of Nepal. We might begin by intending to be merely useful (I never have). Theodor Adorno's social (and antisocial) theories demanded that composers, and writers, protect that "isolated, fragmented self of modern consciousness" against the false claims of a bad social whole. Inevitably, someone here, or in a bomb shelter in northern Israel or southern Lebanon, will turn to poetry to read at a funeral service, or to jump-start terrorized lives and pulverized communities. Eventually it becomes political necessity. I hope this does not sound like an exercise in ambiguities. Suddenly the words do not sound the same or mean the same. Modern society isn't just a few billion people. But we should beware of using witness poetry as some cliché of the triumph of the human spirit, providing ourselves with a sop to make us feel better about our government's victims. "Poems are born dark," Celan wrote, because language is "loaded with world." A headline swims into sight: "Shooting at Jewish Federation Offices Leaves 1 Dead, 5 Wounded." But poetry's the High Art which is also democratic: inexpensive, portable, reproducible, quickly consumed (except for epic and very difficult poetry), requiring only literacy to participate. Furthermore, using complex words and phrases that are not generally used in vernacular speech is a form of conciet. The next morning Israel bombs a Lebanese village and more than fifty people, most of them children, die. It's not as though it's optional. Stephen Burt: What is the social function of poetry? But at some point the poem takes over, makes requirements of us instead of vice versa. "Them" seldom includes "us." Culture is all about where we live, our language, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the … I'm not pooh-poohing poetry of witness, quite the opposite. It exists (and existed) to entertain, to inform, and to promulgate cultural traditions and values. Major Jackson: Daisy Fried wonders why poetry is called to duty, why it "is asked to do more than be itself," especially during moments of political or national crisis. Such poems come forth from a comparatively minor—yet compulsive—desire. Cultural relationship. High school seniors Sam and Catherine will tell you what they have gotten ou… Major Jackson: Daisy Fried grossly misreads my critique of excessive egoism in Romantic poetry—which an even closer reading of literary history would reveal I mostly cop from Eliot and other anti-Romantic critics. All, except Keats maybe, would be ignored and cast aside as personae non gratae by the critical, academic, and literary establishments: no Guggenheim for you, Mr. Shelley. Is my Talmud teacher among the wounded or dead? I'll hazard an answer. No. The stacks of poetry can be referenced by poet-engineers, not of the sacred or the social, but of the aesthetic. PS: Sorry for my bad english, I'v just started to learn this language ;)See you! To understand this, it is important to recognise that texts, such as poems, are not created in a vacuum but are the product of many influences that affect the ways in which writers write and the ways in which we read and interpret their work. For the record, I never feel guilty getting paid, ever. Rae Armantrout's poetry, for example, seeks—at times, it seems to despair of finding—a social function we might identify as the inculcation of skeptical thinking. It's usually a love poem expressing disappointment that an evening rendezvous has ended, such as Schuyler van Rensselaer's "Under Two Windows." Here This ritual generates empathy and widens our humanity. "Compared to the writing of poetry, few other human activities take place so widely, at least in America, absent even a tacit consensus as to why we do them, what good they do, what function they serve.". Plumbers (or interpreters or oncologists) do something which we can easily describe, and for which most of us understand the demand. I would add that poetry takes you into the presence of mystery. Becoming aware of this background information can help you to understand and appreciate the poetry texts you read and help you form your responses more effectively. Poetry can have an immediate impact in the world. They won't discombobulate the young, especially young soldiers, whom Plato warned off poetry lest it remind them of their dirty little fear of death. Insert context header here: J. Alfred Prufrock and Modernism In novels, poetry, social commentary, and the like, where language plays such an important role, we are able to briefly overlook the implication of cultural dissonance. They have banished themselves from the republic, having abdicated their role as loud-mouth rousers of weeping and gnashing. The function of War and Peace is greater than its many uses. Poetic insight, he wrote, "does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees, by sharing the path or circuit of things through forms, and so making them translucent to others." Poems are necessary because they honor the unknown, both in us and in the world. Most poets must admit that they would cherish being seen by their community of friends and relatives as "functional," the voice who sanctions and gives formal expression to their lives in verse, who serves as the repository of their thoughts and experiences, much like the West African djali or griot. Just ask the poet who reluctantly agrees to contribute to a wedding program, a funeral, or a political rally: the assignment pales in comparison to those poems that arise out of his own mysterious and idiosyncratic need. Does it disclose the pathos of other human beings and the source of their suffering? Even when the Establishment posthumously highlights a poet such as June Jordan, whose poetics and social vision coalesce into a rich model of the best of art created in a democracy, and whose poetry never suffers from mere narcissism, it does so patronizingly (see Dan Chiasson's review in these pages, November 2005). Emily Warn: Stephen Burt's logic is airtight. The encounter, which occurs in language, preserves and enlarges our solitude and points out our connections. The difference between solace porn and sex porn is that solace pornographers seldom seem aware that they're making pornography. Is anyone else I know? In making our circuitry—our social and biological nerves—translucent, it becomes perceivable and so changeable. Emily Warn: After twenty-four hours of traveling, I get home to Seattle bleary-eyed. Both poets want to say something about a society, and both poets want to do something we might call "social"—to imagine, and to cause, some sense of relations that extend beyond one-on-one intimacy—but they differ in what they want to do, and in why. Art of witness is essential. Your, Raiul Baztepo. Kathmandu Valley has served as the country’s cultural metropolis since the unification of Nepal in the 18th Century. I once had a social worker approach me after a reading to thank me for writing a particular poem. However, what may give a poem its originality and heft—extraordinary language, searing imagery, high lyricism—may be too arcane for the layperson. A.It is used negatively in the poem, but it usually has a positive connotation. It's easy to talk about some "them" for whom poetry is useful. Daisy Fried: Why not a summation made up of parts? If we use any more conventional, more restrictive senses for "social"—for example, "having to do with a particular society taken as a whole," or even "having to do with people in large groups"—then there is no social function which all good poems have. Such a position is necessary to our communal health. Major Jackson: The function of poetry is that it does not have any function beyond its own construction and being-in-the-world. The group members are well versed and do readings, some have been published. In 2012, the New York Times called Burt “one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation.” Burt grew up around Washington, DC and earned a BA from Harvard and PhD from Yale. The student's poem reflects the cultural context of the mask. An individual poet may think she knows such things about poetry, but put two or more poets (let alone critics) in a room, and their so-called knowledge may reveal itself as clashing opinions or axioms—even though "social," as the antithesis of "individual," implies some ground of agreement, something shared. However, this is not to say the sole purpose of poetry is to serve as social commentary. Yes. In all your exams it is important that you consider the social and cultural contexts of the texts that you are studying. It is a vehicle for cultural survival. An aubade is a poem about the arrival of the morning. Personally, I find the cynicism and disdain for such poets, even mildly detected here, overly familiar and somewhat nauseating. Poetry is one of those topics that often gets dismissed as whimsical and unimportant. Even then such literature need only be used with vocabulary and sentence structures found only in common vernacular speech, all other language components should be removed and forbidden. If a poem has something to say and says it well, it will be remembered. Poets do not know how their poems will be used in the future. The title poem of Howl and Other Poems is key, and its opening line famously defines the Beat Generation: "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." Is it a useful poem? Poetry, as Barrett makes clear, does not exist outside of social and cultural realities; the goal of cultural poetics is to explore the two as always intertwined. The gaiety of great poetry reinforces and deepens our humanity. Students often go wrong by writing more about the historical background or the life of the poet than about the poem itself. We are more likely to experience great visual art in the presence of others (in museums); we might say such experience connects us more evidently than can the silent reading of verse whose authors we have never met. We all know that time is limited, and teachers have to make instructional choices. I doubt most poets, good and bad, political or not, put these demands on their own work. Ms. Hardworking Roto-Rooter could care less about your dithyrambs. Bad poems are often more useful for healing, persuasion, and celebration than good ones. Housman did not know A Shropshire Lad would speak to people suffering the horrors of WWI. But anyway, let's face it: were Daisy's nineteenth-century poet-revolutionaries alive today, they would be unemployed and writing in obscurity. i love poetry and i do agree that its a art and you have to have some kind of nac for it. An epigram, is a poem that is meant to be funny or satirical. They were revolutionaries opposing the system. The oral tradition can take many forms, including epic poems, chants, rhymes, songs, and more. Oral storytelling is telling a story through voice and gestures. Poetry is a way to understand how language and symbol systems work. Is healing really the domain only of prescriptive drugs? Poets, he's saying, weld new relations and add new forms to the world. Questions of word choice or even the language of the poetry are often informed by social values or, following Jillian Cavanaugh (2009) , social aesthetics (see also Webster 2009 ). What about reading my great-grandmother's love letters, reading Studs Terkel's oral histories, contemplating Brancusi's "Bird in Flight"? Copyright © 2007 - 2021 Revision World Networks Ltd. All over the world people celebrate through ceremony, with many ceremonies having cultural or religious significance. The ‘social, historical and cultural’ contexts can consist of a variety of factors. Try talking emotion or philosophy with family or friends and one will be rejected because no one has the time or energy for such indulgences.Pain and joy are what all people feel, but why write about it--do anybody but derlicts actually believe that poetry, literature and art exsist? Well, what is the social function of ER nursing? However, it is a powerful instructional tool and an important art to study at any age. Though its subject matter and politics are both clear and attractive, content has very little to do with why the poem is extraordinary. ELIOT CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ESSAY “THE SOCIAL FUNCTION OF POETRY” SUBMITTED BY: If that is what Emily means, I accept her claim, with two demurrers. Ranked poetry on Social media, by famous & modern poets. That's a social function in the sense of "social good," even of "social policy." "I run a weekly group for abusive men," he said. The only literature that should be allowed to exist is that which aggrandizes whichever government regime is in power at any given time in order to induce patriotic rapture. Writing is even more of an offence to the general public. Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, as well as the more politically-minded poets like Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, and Palestinian-American poet Suheir Hammad all reach beyond mere aestheticism and challenge accepted notions of the above solipsistic poet toiling away at a few columns of free verse. Poetry’s strength lies in its ability to shed a “sideways” light on the world, so the truth sneaks up on you. If a reading public feels consoled or seeks "a momentary stay against confusion," and poetry provides them this, why deem such works of art failures? The question is not merely whether the commitment he exemplified is possible now, but whether technology, and the institutions we use to manage it, can allow the kind of … But this doesn't explain why the superfluous demands are often made by educated poetry experts. Comparison of Poetry of a Different Culture We live in a society where culture and identity are very important. Literature is simply classist and is of no use to the common man. "The Mill-Race" is good and usefulbecause it presents in extraordinary language an aspect of the human condition, not some false solution having to do with feel-good "relat(ing) to drained faces." That's the moment of poetry; poems exist to let readers share in that moment. In "Lapis Lazuli," Yeats insists on the gaiety of human existence alongside its tragedy. Certainly many poems—one might say all good poems—have this effect. Would it be nonsensical to say that by building houses with Habitat for Humanity, through the hard work of hammer and nail, on the one hand, and the contemplation of poverty, on the other, I might encounter and come to know both my society and myself? The ‘social, historical and cultural’ contexts can consist of a variety of factors. Unlike previous works, this book takes a broad comparative view and considers oral poetry from Africa, Asia and Oceania as well as Europe and America. Once a reader has fully internalized the poem's machinations, she collects a chorus within her and is transformed. Emerson thought poems could change reality because they uncover its hardwiring, then jimmy with it. This in turn would give literature a true social function and not cause offense. Hers is the same annoyance expressed by disapproving poets who sniff the air upon hearing a 9/11 elegy or an inaugural poem, or upon learning of a famous poet penning her own line of greeting cards. If so, let me add another: one of poetry's chief aims is to illumine the walls of mystery, the inscrutable, the unsayable. On high alert, I stop to read. This is particularly important when comparing two writers and will be rewarded by the examiner. C.It has no significance in the poem. Now it is the poets who soldier on; they have, after all, paying jobs to perform, not for the republic, but for the realm of the personal which has subsumed it. Whatever you think of the folks who fix your pipes, you know roughly what they get paid to do, and why the people who pay them value their services. This in turn incites the animosity of normal people who feel they are being looked down upon by people who do not work for a living(work meaning physical labor and commerce). Poetry's point is not to make safe middle-class readers say, "Poor things! There are good 9/11 poems. 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