Shenzhen Daily Newspaper Article: “The Art of Poetry”


The Art of Poetry

By: Matthew Jellick


Poetry has the power to inspire, written through emotion rather than words, conveyed through the heart as opposed to the pen.  From politics to romance, lines, verses and stanzas have, for centuries, conveyed ideas where sentences, paragraphs and essays have fallen short.  Ideologies expressed through structure; love shared through rhyme.


Poetic verse has the capacity to tell stories just like a novel, yet with a structure which demands attention, rewarding readers and listeners with a deeper sense of understanding, immersed in the words like a leaf heavy with crestfallen snow.  And similar to that overweight foliage, the language of poetry balances beauty with the absurd, with meanings taken from context, redefined through personal application, and comprehended through differences.  Poetry isn’t defined, but it does define; outlining who we are, but letting us figure out who we want to be.


To celebrate the art of Poetry, Southern University of Science and Technology is hosting the “SUSTech Reader”, where a group of 20 students will read poems which celebrate the cultural heritage of China, including such luminary authors ranging from Lei Bai (701) and Suh Ting (1952).  Recited in both Chinese and English, the students will emphasize intonation, highlight pause and stress pronunciation, all of which go to give intended power to the words of the poet.  Akin to singing, poetry dances upon musical elements, abandoning rote structure for a uniqueness which, if we look hard enough, can be found in each of our voices.


As an undergraduate, I remember taking a class titled, “Cross-Cultural Contemporary Poetry” which exposed me, as a teenager, to elements of prose I had yet to be shown.  The authors of different descent – including Chinese – allowed me into their world, through their poems, to countries, cultures and identities I had yet to take the time to understand.  But unlike a travel guide which lists the tourist hotspots of a given city, the words shared through this class allowed me into the homes and minds of their authors, providing me with an insight which anything other than poetry would have failed to do.


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