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Young people look for meaning. But poetry doesn’t always offer clarity | Bridget Minamore

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New figures show a dramatic growth in the popularity of poetry among millennials. A poet writes this original poem in response

Poetry sales soar as political millennials search for clarity

Clarity is

a murky word despite itself, sitting
on the topsoil of reasons I’m supposed
to embrace this odd alchemy / this way
of sharing thought / this beautifully bizarre
approach to scattered words in some time strange
shapes. I’m certain some feel different to me,
certain many pick up poems and hope
to see through them, but I have always searched
for the opaque / always been dazzled by
the haze of vagueness poetry seems to
inspire. I’m scared like we all are – or all
aren’t, which is perhaps even scarier –
but a poem can be a kingdom in
which blindfolded foresight makes perfect sense
and the political and personal
align like nowhere else. Perhaps it would
be easy to label my attachment
a modern phenomenon / attribute
the groundswell of love towards volumes of
verse to the uniqueness of my peers / claim
the rise in buying and reading pages
bound and bulbous with poems is a new
response to recent chaos, but surely
we poets know better. We know the world
screams as loudly as it always has done,
the young are the same as the young always
are, poetry is a language we have
spoken since we could speak, and most of us
don’t ask poetry for clarity, but
for an escape / for the chance to run far,
far away from the unmistakable.

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