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HistoryPoetry is the dead language of a bygone race, the historical remnants of some ancient form of communication — like the telegraph message; or an ancient form of entertainment — like a hoop and a stick.

Poets are dead white men with wigs and a flourishing way of speaking, meant to confuse the average high schooler and meant to fuel the ironic intellectualism of the average hipster. Poets are gay. Poetry is gay. Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsburg lie together in a small New York bed and make poetry. Poets think they are better than us, and they are weird, and they speak in a dead language.

Poetry is life. Poetry is the language of the soul, the pure unencumbered freedom of expression through the word. Remember when you wrote your first Haiku? What did you think? Did you feel a secret shame at having liked it?

The sound, the cadence and rhythm, the words that are yours on the page that have a good rhythmic sound to them, did that make you feel something? If it did, it’s because poetry is not for dead white men, poetry is not for gays and hipsters, and poets are not better than you and they don’t believe they are (at least the good ones don’t). Poetry is not a dead language.

Some suggestions to start: Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsburg, Ron Silliman, Charles Bukowski, and WARSAN SHIRE. Make sure you start with Warsan Shire, one of the great young poets of the world at this time.