I often ask myself what is the role or job of the poet? Each time the response depends on what is happening in the world and in my personal life. I ask other poets the same question. Sometimes I wish I could ask my favorite poets, especially those who became well-known after they passed. I could imagine their reaction when they learn in their after life that people finally get and appreciate the poems they wrote.
As I pondered the question I went back to my collection of poetry books and looked for some insights. Inspired by poet’s biographies and other readings, I wrote a poem that hopefully answers the question. I mean if you have ever asked yourself what is the role of the poet.
The Role of the Poet
I believe the world needs a poet more today
It needed one yesterday as well
because a poet is one to tells
truths we may not want to hear
a poet brings to light what is most dear
and helps us to face fear
A poet brings you back into your own life
and teaches you how to breathe in and out
in stillness and in meditation
while you listen carefully to your breath and heart beat
and to the divine explanation of why we are all here.
A poet is a little god
who soothes your soul
and lets you peek into life’s crystal ball
to see yourself for the very first time
A poet sings the songs that make the world go round
and says what matters in free verse or rhyme
a poet knows how to expertly use every utterance and sound
in alliteration or onomatopoeia or assonance
and when it comes to choosing
the right meter
who else can we possibly trust
It does not matter what form a poem takes
A poet must not mistake
an epic, a limerick or an ode
As long as a poet can bring back the spring
in the middle of winter.
A poet can make you sing
and help you see the purpose of a fly
and you can either believe every word
or decide to defy
its relevance or ambiguity
but we must admit the poet’s acuity
for words and how to use them in a soliloquy.
Being a poet is not an easy job
a poet can make you smile
or make your heart throb
A poet can also make you think
about so many things that need thinking
and when you don’t understand
the message it can really stink
but as for me
I still hope to be
a poet someday.