Is poetry really worth reading?

Universitas Kristen Indonesia

Parlindungan Pardede

Universitas kristen Indonesia

Poetry, the oldest literary genre, has been created since 2000 B.C. when the Sumerians produced oral poetic works, like “Epic of Gilgamesh” and the ancient Greeks and Romans produced great epic poetry such as Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” and Hesiod’s “Works and Days.” during 1200 B.C. to A.D. 455, while fiction was invented in the 12th century in England. Although it is much older than fiction, why does poetry get less readership than fiction? According to National Endowment for the Arts(2018), there were 126.5 million (41.8%) of American adults who read novels or short stories in 2017, but only 27.9 million (11.7%) read poetry at the same year. In 2008, 47% of American adults read novels or short stories, but only 8.3% read poetry. Data concerning fiction vs poetry readership in other countries is not available. But it seems that the preference for…

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