What’s so good about a poem?

What’s so good about a poem?

A poem is something fun to hear. It delights the ear.

It delights the eye, with its use of space, its arrangement of words and lines on the page.

A poem is felt—it touches our emotions, catches our hearts. A poem can express and provoke our most important thoughts and feelings.

A poem is a condensed form of writing. Words do more than one job at the same time–think imagery, symbolism. A poem is enchanting, as it often takes the reader awhile to unpack everything.

A poem surprises us, with its vocabulary, its images, its shape, or the very idea it expresses.

Poems can tell what its like to be alive! They often speak to the unanswerable questions, the essential mysterious aspects of life: Who am I? Why am I here? What makes a good life! If you read a lot of poetry, it’s hard to feel alone in the world.

I love this statement by Annie Dillard: “The way to a reader’s emotions is through the senses. Give hardback fiction and poetry as gifts to everyone you know. No shirt or sweater ever changed a life.”

 What else do poems do?  Ask X. J. and Dorothy Kennedy. In their book, Knock at a Star: a child’s introduction to poetry, they show how poems can …“Make You Smile, Tell Stories, Send Messages, Share Feelings, Help You Understand People, and Start You Wondering.”

This book is worth the read—especially for its choice of delectable poems! Included is this “Send a Message” poem by Sarah N. Cleghorn, printed in 1917, before laws prevented children from working in factories.


The golf links lie so near the mill

That almost every day

The laboring children can look out

And see the men at play.


About Sandra Brug Children's Author

Children's writer, poet, and children's librarian.
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