I don’t think there is any type of artist quite so prone to self-doubt as the poet; poets are always writing elaborate apologies for their art. As far back as 1580 or thereabouts, Sir Phillip Sidney wrote The Defence of Poesy, arguing against critics who saw poetry as corruptive and a waste of time. In 1991, Dana Gioia penned a contemporary defense of verse-making called “Can Poetry Matter?,” addressing many of the same concerns as Sidney. Gioia, and Sidney before him, have done their work well; I’m not going to try to match them by offering some sweeping defense of poetry as a discipline. What I’d like to discuss is not that poetry should exist, but where it should exist.

Poetry’s proper place is not, first and foremost, in academia, but in our homes.