Poetry is a literary tool used to teach us about ourselves, others and our world. It is the backdrop to the dramatic art of listening, another tool lost like a book of table setting etiquette.
In Chinese poetry the image is usually clear. The poet is content on letting nature be its own beauty and not be depended upon man for its value. The poets eye not his/her spiritual doctrine is visual. Prior to the Republic in China, for centuries it was obligatory for all civil servants to demonstrate, by examination, their ability to write a poem. A proof of literacy.
In modern society, poetry and its varied topics can fuel our love, hatred and tolerance limits. It can connect us to our emotions, nature, and our belief systems. Poetry infects us with empathy. It has the ability to reach deep within us like the oxygen we breathe, stirring our beating hearts. It can teeter us on the edge of love, lust or hate. Poetry is the light that invites us to listen, read and compare our lives. It can also give us the opportunity to exhale our ignorance, judgments and fears!
For me the question is not “Why Poetry?” but why are you not reading or writing poetry?