A Contemporary Use for Poetry

September 6, 2010

I saw this article the other day and it made me wonder if the contemporary use of poetry is, like Heaney says in “The Redress of Poetry” it can serve both his definitions: 1) “reparation of, satisfaction or compensation for, a wrong sustained or the loss resulting from this” and 2) “to set (a person or a thing) upright again; to raise again to an erect position. Also fig. to set up again, restore, re-establish”. It fulfills the first one in this instance by serving as a means for reparation for the wrong done to those who died and those who have survived to record the experience, here in written format. The second is more figuratively fulfilled through the restoration and re-establishing of the lives of those who have survived; i.e. as a means of coping with the event.

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