Why People Need Poetry (Stephen Burt’s TED Talk)

I’ve actually said before that this would be a TED talk I’d give. It’s a simple idea that I find to be truth — poetry would help us as a people understand our world, our selves, and our capability to produce and find beauty.

I would’ve used different poems, but Burt does a good job breaking down the wall of answering the ‘what does this mean’ question. It can mean whatever you’d like. He’ll show you how a critic might interpret a poem, but ultimately that’s not the point.

Just as we use music to inform, increase or unlock our feelings, poetry too sits on a mountain waiting to be discovered. Our schools have done a poor job of keeping it as a pillar in a curriculum, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective.

Click the picture below to hear the TED talk!

burt poetry ted talk