Why Vikings Needed Poetry, And You Do Too!

In all other countries than America, Poetry is a delightful and popular art form for ordinary people. In Latin countries it is a survival tool for all romantic fools! When my ancestors, the Nordic Vikings, were plundering their neighborhoods and stealing
great looking wenches for their own, they made sure that their exploits were remembered by attaching bards to their retinues. In modern days in America there is a lot of writing about poetry in the public media; it’s ‘artsy’ to be a poet. And if you are at
a university and in the Language Arts Department, you, of course, need to publish, or you perish. However, it is almost impossible for a regular person to open a newspaper or a magazine and read a simple poem about another person’s pain and joy! So, what is
it that frightens publishers and editors about poems? Well, poetry is an art and expression form that synthesizes and condenses our most complex emotions. Great poets, or, really, simple poets, have historically been able to write very simple and brief poems
that nails a sentiment, joy or passion with a few well-balanced verses. Today, of course, it is not good business for advertisers to encourage anything thoughtful, controversial or heartfelt; large numbers of readers might begin to think. They might question
the brain-washing lives so many are seduced into leading. Thus nary a poem appears innocently in any western magazine or newspaper. Many years ago I had the absolute awesome pleasure of writing a poetry column in a weekly newspaper in Alaska; the readership
was about 25,000, and I published poems by students, nurses, mechanics, crane operators, doctors and engineers. It wasn’t unusual for an old bulldozer operator to drive around with a wrinkled newspaper poem in his shirt pocket. I had one tell me it was ‘better
than a good glass of whiskey.’ Over the years, as my middle school teaching duties have allowed we have left many of these poems on www.poetspeak.com for people to enjoy. When I retire it might be my last ‘Fool’s Errand’ to publish the passionate and sweet
voices so many people have when they dare to speak their soul. Just so you know how real vikings think, here’s a simple little poem that is ‘Useful, Accessible and Enjoyable’.. What I believe It is rather simple . . . I believe A crackling fire is healing
for my soul. I believe A small child is part of the balance of all small gatherings. I believe we are all meant to take time, every now and then, to putter around and do, what we love to do . . . I believe dreaming, wide-awake listening to the fire is as essential
as working. -Kurt Kristensen Word count=464 Edit or illustrate as needed.