Why People Need Poetry

988669_10152882434160652_1893030052_nWelcome to another Tuesday with TED. Today we have poetry critic Stephen Burt. He is a serious fan of science fiction, indie music, and women’s basketball, but what he’s known for is his highly influential poetry criticism. That list of passions, though, hints at Burt’s mission as a critic: he aims not only to describe new movements in the form, but also to champion under-the-radar writers whose work he admires.

Burt, a professor of English at Harvard University, is passionate about both the classics and the contemporary, and his poetry criticism bridges those two worlds. He is also a poet in his own right, with two full-length books under his belt, as well as a cross-dresser who mines his feminine persona in his work. “I am a literary critic and a writer of verse, a parent and husband and friend, before and after I am a guy in a skirt, or a guy in blue jeans, or a fictional girl,” he has written. His books include The Art of the Sonnet (with David Mikics); Close Calls With Nonsense: Reading New Poetry; and Parallel Play: Poems.

In this charming and funny talk, Burt takes us on a lyrical journey with some of his favorite poets, all the way down to a line break and back up to the human urge to imagine. Don’t miss this fascinating talk!

Did Burt’s talk change how you look at poetry? Do you agree with his statement that poems can help us deal with subjects like death? What did you think of his delivery?

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Other Writers, Tuesdays with TED and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>