Poetry reading is on the rise.
Almost 29 million U.S. adults now read poetry that’s not required for work or school, the highest rate since the National Endowment for the Arts began doing a survey on the topic 15 years ago.
The increased interest in poetry has been driven largely by young adults, women, and racial and ethnic minorities—people most likely to be involved in social protest and online activism.
But this renewed interest in poetry could have ramifications beyond the literary. It could also result in more people desiring to live a “poetic life,” according to Piero Rivolta, an award-winning poet and author of several books, including the novel Bridge Through the Stars.
“You don’t have to be a poet to have poetic feelings,” Rivolta says. “Living a poetic life means ‘’keeping a bridge open from the past to the future restoring the primary qualities that we all share as human beings. Those qualities include intuition, compassion, common sense, love, moral sentiment, admiration for nature, appreciation for beauty and a sense of fairness even if it is against the common trend of that moment”
Many people today expect quick fixes and instant solutions to problems, and believe reason is the best approach. But that is a mistake and often creates more difficulties than it solves.
In contrast, “poetry and a poetic life connects different, sometimes unusual perceptions, emotions and discoveries from the past and present in a process that leads to more flexible and inclusive possibilities for the future. If things aren’t working at first, they can be changed and adapted.”
With a strictly rational approach you can always prove a point. “This approach occurs quite often in history and has led to dark periods in which people are divided by political parties or religious myths. In the process, they make themselves miserable with unbendable rules.”
Here are a few tips offered up to people who want to live a poetic life:
See yourself as an artist or artisan, not just a worker, that regardless of your job, contribute something toward the world.
- Express and share with others. If you love somebody, show them or tell them. Even casual comments help. If you think someone has on a lovely dress, tell her, forgetting the today’s negative mentality.
- Live life with joy and enthusiasm. Be joyful about the time you will spend on this earth, and live your life with passion in all that you do.
- Simplify your life. Get rid of things – and issues -– you don’t need and soon you will free your cluttered mind.
- Enjoy nature. Make sure you spend time to enjoy your natural surroundings.
Rivolta believes that the love of poetry inevitably makes people more inclined to live a poetic life. He is hopeful that as more people learn to love poetry, it will result inevitably result in more people wanting to live a poetic life.