" In my humble opinion, I think that poetry is a method we can use to spread such opportunities and chances to the masses...To make what is united, global."
Poetry and humanity have many aspects in common with one another. Youth and children are but one shared similarity between them both. Poetry, often used in Nursery rhymes in the West, and in poems to help children to learn moral lessons and the language in the East (particularly Japan), is often one of the first literary materials youth encounter in their reading journey. Though often regarding simple themes such as the items in home or the happenings in a neighborhood, the poems help humans begin to piece together aspects of their reality into an understandable while. It also shows them the melody of language. In some ways, it puts to words what often floats around namelessly within the minds of infants. This same nature of poetry being able to make ideas tangible, as well as being emotion to what may seem void of any sympathy, still lives on in adulthood and can help us view those who are young after we have progressed into our older years.
Robert Zuber, regarding a patio event for interns, wrote in his blog (https://gapwblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/future-shock-returning-what-weve-stolen-from-children-dr-robert-zuber/) of the importance of those who have not yet had the opportunities we have had and the need to help them and put some focus on how to spread the opportunity that seems to only be present among certain sociological groups. In my humble opinion, I think that poetry is a method we can use to spread such opportunities and chances to the masses.
This past week was, what would be if he was still living, Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday. A famous American poet, best known for his collection “Leaves of Grass” also wrote a poem entitled “Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry”. In this poem he talks about how not only him, but those to come in ages hence, will also cross the same path, see the same water, and feel the same air he feels at that moment in time. In a sense, in the poem Whitman is calling out to everyone who has yet to come to the place, saying that they too will come to see the same as he has seen. Such poetry is not at all rare. Langston Hughes, a poet from the Harlem Renaissance, also spoke about care and peace in the world as he would talk about a common blue fabric that we all need from time to time. In my internship at the Bowery Poetry Club, I would often hear poets finish their poems with a desire to pass the sentiment they felt toward the audience; in a sense to see if the audience felt similarly too. As interns with the opportunity to sit inside and hear delegates and diplomats speak of critical humanitarian issues plaguing is all, I think that we too can connect to the world through poetry.
Yesterday, June 3rd, I was able to sit inside the General Assembly Hall to hear representatives from various countries around the word speak about how they are dealing with HIV/AIDS respectively. They all have internationally known goals to work towards, such as the 2020 agenda in addition to the 2030 agenda, and the Secretary General’s proposal. However, each nation has different struggles and various obstacles to overcome. Some are closer to the goal and some are farther, but the goal is still there and, for the most part, the nations are working toward accomplishing them. Standing under the bright blue United Nations Flag, that flutters under a bright blue sky, on a sunny day in June, I look at the sparkling river, the white globe on the flag, and the many flags which line the UN and think of how wonderful it would be if we could see just as much socioeconomic diversity within the world and within the United Nations itself. A world full of consternation/ can reach a place of salvation/ if from person to person/ we come to establish honest and caring communication.
By writing such a poem down, I express my emotional and sentimental thoughts toward inclusivity. Toward my desire to help those who have not been helped see what they have yet to see. When Rebecca Irby from the PEAC Institute went to New Zealand last fall, she was able to lead usually stern diplomats to tears through children and poetry. Such may seem shocking at first, but when one realizes that many poets have also been diplomats, such an occurrence feels as if it should be more common. Indeed, I believe it should.
Those same poems we read during childhood to help us learn of the world around us, we read in adulthood to help us overcome emotionally strenuous situations. Those same poems can be used to connect to children and those who have not experienced the same as we have. To make what is united, global.
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