Robert Pinsky: The Power of Poetry to Console

Robert Pinsky doesn’t claim that poetry has the immediacy of television can bring on a day like September 11th. The former U.S. Poet Laureate says poetry can’t convey the emotions that Americans felt after the attacks as well as music can. But, according to Pinsky, poetry has an intimacy and physicality that no other art form can boast. It is that intimacy that gives poetry the amazing consoling power that Americans have relied upon over the past few months. From email forwards of Percy Shelley poems sent among friends to all the amateur poets who took solace in putting their feelings to words, the intimacy of poetry has given it an even greater role in this new era of uncertainty.


Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate

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