Laura Andrew: Why we all need poetry in our lives

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Poetry is an underappreciated art form.

We associate it with pretentious hipsters in coffee bars and old dusty poets who have long gone. I must admit for the first few years I studied it, I hated it. The mathematical rhyme schemes, the over complicated meanings.

A blue curtain is never just a blue curtain, (English students will understand this pain).There is a magic to poetry, that cannot be felt through other forms of literature.

The clever wordplay, metaphors and emotional depth can tug at your heart in a way that a book never could. It took one very special university tutor and one incredible poet to change my mind. I discovered this not by reading Wordsworth, Keats or Poe.

But by being entranced by a modern poet named Rapi Kaur. Whose words on trauma and feminism made me love the art form for the very first time.

“Poetry breathes through the encumbering expectations of narrative.” -Dan Felton,MA Student at University of Lincoln.

So why is it that we often reach for the fiction novels when we want to be transported into another world? And not the treasure troves of emotion that poetry can offer.

Here are some of my favourite poetry collections which I think should be celebrated by more of us in the literature world.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. Paperback, Simon & Schuster, £12.99.

Kaur is probably the most famous modern poet. Her newest collection is just as good as her first, Milk and Honey, which took the world by storm. Her poems are emotional and deep and often accompanied by wonderful illustrations.

As I mentioned before Kaur is the reason that I fell in love with poetry. She proves that poems do not need to be overcomplicated and inaccessible to be brilliant. The raw feeling that she manages to portray in simple plain language is beautiful. She uses her influence to talk about issues of gender inequality and female empowerment which resonates so much with her audience.

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill. Paperback, Orion, £12.99.

The newest collection by Nikita Gill was everything I wanted it to be. Raw, emotional and fully heartbreaking. Nikita has a wonderful way of reminding us that we are only one tiny person in one giant universe. That our actions no matter how big or small cannot compare to the giant stars exploding in the sky. She uses space metaphors to empower in her poetry; she reminds us that we are made up of the same brilliant matter that makes up the sky, planets and black holes. And that we should remember this in times of hardship and trauma.

I loved the references to Greek mythology and Disney princesses. This aspect reminded me of Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife. Nikita takes it a step further than Duffy as she rewrites fairy tales completely, making myths such as Persephone, Cinderella and Demeter into strong feminist stories. Tales to be passed down to young girls in place of the ones filled with misogyny.