Casandra Coin
What Poems Do
Poetry is shared catharsis. It is a way for people to speak the "unspeakable," both personally and socially. By and large, people are passive. They wait for life to come to them or for negative influences to miraculously disappear. The majority of us are not consciously striving for the greater whole - especially in my generation. It seems that the common philosophy is to fend for yourself and the rest may follow. Poems don't allow people to continue living their lives so vacantly. They won't permit readers to shove their fears under the proverbial "rug." Poems fight the silence to yield understanding and a feeling of universality. Michael Harper put it perfectly when he said, "artists are here to disturb the peace" (Moyers, 185).

By writing or sharing the art of poetry, I feel a sense of renewed self. These short bits of verse demand that we give them our full attention, both in their reading or composition. What may have begun as catharsis solely for the author is often vital to the reader's understanding of themselves and those around them. As a result, poems motivate poets and readers to communicate - to realize the universality of our nature. Although we are all unique, we are also remarkably similar.