One of the biggest arguments today is whether or not poetry is relevant in the 21st century. Many people believe that poetry is not relevant to the current generation and therefore should not be taught at school. However, poetry is important for various reasons, which allow it to be relevant to the modern era.
Firstly, most poetry was written long before the 21st century. These poems are about life before this time. Poetry often addresses historic problems and grizzled experiences that are not faced by the current generation. For example in Sonnet 71: No longer mourn for me when I am dead by William Shakespeare, depicts the struggles of a man who was not able to be loved openly in public by his male lover because homosexuality was rejected by society. As members of modern society, we no longer have to deal with such large forms of gender and race discrimination. In modern times it is possible to achieve your goals and ambitions, as society does not hinder you because of your gender, age, race, or sexuality. Poetry from before the 20th century no longer applies to our modern generation because the main problems and strife are no longer being faced. The many conflicts of the past cannot be changed and so they are irrelevant to the present and future of modern society
Although the past is over and we no longer have to encounter the old problems, the past teaches us many mistakes so that we can learn from them. The poem Love’s farewell by Michael Drayton illustrates common problems that were faced in many relationships. These problems are much the same in the modern era and so by looking at poems they may teach us things in order to better the way we live. A famous quote from The Lion King says ‘Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.’ History allows us to learn from mankind’s mistakes to ensure that they will not be repeated. The poetry of older times teaches us our history and allows us to gain a perspective of how it would be to relive old problems. In this way, we are able to learn in order to create a better future.
Many poems use complex English with difficult terms to understand. Often older forms of English feature in these poems such as the sonnets of William Shakespeare and Michael Drayton. This language is quite difficult for youth to understand, as many of the terms and phrases used by the older poets are not the type of language that is used in modern-day English. Because the language of many poems is no longer used, it makes the poems irrelevant to the current generation.
However, using older language can teach learners where certain terms come from. These older forms of English are the beginning of the language we use today and so began to form many of the terms and phrases we use in the 21st century. Many of the words used by people of the modern era were, invented by William Shakespeare. Words such as; compromise, worthless, tranquil, impartial, obscene, and many more. Without the older poets, we would not have the language we use today and so this creates relevance for the language of poetry.
In conclusion, poetry deals with events of the past. Although it teaches us much, it ultimately shows that it is not relevant to the learners of the modern era. This thus concludes that poetry is not relevant in the 21st century.