Quote of the day

Joseph Brodsky

“By failing to read or listen to poets, society dooms itself to inferior modes of articulation, those of the politician, the salesman, or the charlatan. In other words, it forfeits its own evolutionary potential. For what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom is precisely the gift of speech. Poetry is not a form of entertainment and in a certain sense not even a form of art, but it is our anthropological, genetic goal. Our evolutionary, linguistic beacon.”

Joseph Brodsky

18 thoughts on “Quote of the day”

      1. I am glad you pointed this out. I have been on the net since reading about him and will continue into more referenced literature by him.
        I loved the quote by the Nobel committee when he won the price: ‘for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity’

        miriam

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Miriam,

    And Brodsky was something of a rebel. In an age of post-modernist, Beat, and slam poets, he was a lyricist in the tradition of Auden, Hardy, and Frost.

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      1. I have so much to say about this, from a different perspective- the pure joy of understanding poetry is only the beginning. I will do my best to preface this when I reblog tomorrow. The world needs poets. Thank you, Mike.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on A Teacher's Reflections and commented:
    I never understood poetry when I was in school. It wasn’t until I had children and discovered Shel Silverstein that the importance of words scripted in poetry opened a door. I must have read aloud to them Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” a hundred times. Poetry is a powerful force, in the best of ways. Joseph Brodsky’s incredible quotation is a testament to that. Thank you M.C. Tuggle for bringing Brodsky’s quotation to your readers.

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  3. I am sure Joseph Brodsky was an astute and revered intellectual in elite circles, but to say to a ‘lay’ person that poetry isn’t entertainment or an art is a puzzlement. At a simple and deeper level, it has entertained me on many occasions, but then I’m just a lay person.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joylennick,

      I wouldn’t attempt to speak for Mr. Brodsky, but my guess is that he used the term “entertainment” as a “distraction,” that is, as a mindless diversion. Reading poetry requires concentration, and is fulfilling and enlightening to those who stick with it. So while poetry can refresh and stimulate — the sense of “entertainment” you might have in mind — it is not idle amusement.

      Liked by 1 person

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