About Poetry

A recent comment on my poem entitled ‘Poetry’ (“I love this definition”) caused me to think about my definition of poetry and its place in history and our lives today.

Poets around the world have used poetry as a tool to expose injustice and tyrants and incite insurrection.  They’ve risked their lives and freedom to comment on the inequities they witness.  I see song lyrics as poems.  I’ve always been fascinated by the words of the singer/songwriters from ancient bards and balladeers, to modern folk singers, 60’s and 70’s protest singers, etc.

Poetry whether read, spoken or sung has throughout time been a vehicle for social commentary or a simple oral recounting of our history.  These beliefs gave rise to the following poem I wrote in 2007 while attending a Blues concert in Phelan Park, Southside, Birmingham, Alabama.  I don’t remember the name of the blues man, but I remember feeling his words and story, and the faces of the audience, some absent, and some so present.

The Bard

The Bard’s song is
a piece of soul sung out loud
to the absent crowd
through time, the bards cant
the deeds, tell the stories
preach the morals, ask the questions, make the protest.
They strum the heart strings
touching part
of the common fabric of our being
reminding us of the one song
the uni-
verse.

©2007 Perle Champion

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