Why poetry matters

For U.S. National Poetry Month, we’re highlighting verse, wordplay, and essays about poetry from across Medium

Medium Staff
Published in
2 min readApr 3, 2023


“Poetry is a political act,” wrote June Jordan, the late poet, essayist, and playwright, “because it involves telling the truth.” As Casira Copes wrote in an essay about Jordan’s legacy, great poems can change us. They give us words for emotional complexity. They contain meaning that can’t be summarized. They make an impact we can feel, even if we can’t explain why.

In celebration of U.S. National Poetry Month, we’re highlighting some of the poems (and essays about poetry) you’ve shared on Medium over the years — like Kelly Porter’s reflection on meeting the legendary Gwendolyn Brooks; Caroline Mellor’s ode to small things; Clive Thompson’s investigation into what AI thinks an Emily Dickinson poem looks like; and more.

Got a favorite poem? Drop a line in the responses. We’re adding to this list all month. And whether you’re one of those people who reads a poem every day or you’ve never read one in your life, we hope you’ll take some time to read a poem (or many) this month. Here’s a primer on how to get started.

Harris Sockel and the team @ Medium