Cloiesha Wilson is Keeping Poetry Alive (Why Poetry is Still Important Today)

May 06 19:06 2021

Cloiesha Wilson is a poet, and she believes that poetry has the ability to help people transcend hardships and overcome difficult situations in their lives. For her, it was a form of escapism when she was suffering from depression growing up, and it has helped her transition into a career where she is a mentor for young girls.

“Writing poetry gave me the freedom to express those emotions that I had bottled up for years, and it allowed me to become completely comfortable with my imperfections,” says Wilson. “It gave me a voice and it allowed me to be free artistically.”

But how popular is poetry today, and is it possible that verse is a dying technique?

To get an accurate insight into the question, it’s important to take a deeper look. It’s essential to make a quantitative assessment. Most claims that poetry is dead focus on qualitative assessments that are unsolvable.

The truth is that the number of Americans who read poetry per month is less than ever. In 1992, 17 percent of Americans had read a work of poetry in the past year.

Flash forward 20 years later, and that number has fallen by more than half. To be specific, the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts says that number is now at 6.7 percent. The survey is run every few years as part of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

But, that could potentially have damaging effects on people’s ability for expression, exploration and growth.

Back to Cloiesha Wilson, who says she has counted on poetry many times to overcome struggles in her life.

Wilson says that poetry defines more than just personal struggle. It can depict injustices that have occurred over generations and it is a valuable form of history. It documents emotions, feelings and circumstances in a way that other mediums cannot.

One work of poetry that Wilson holds close to her heart is the famous piece by Maya Angelou called “And Still I Rise”. Wilson says that this poem reminded her to be resilient despite the struggles that life may throw her way.

“As a black woman, I feel like Angelou is speaking directly to me,” says Wilson. “I feel resilient because it’s a reminder of how black women must remain strong through whatever life throws at us,” says Wilson.

“It’s a reminder that we can never let outside forces tear us down.”

According to the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the decline in poetry readership is unique among the arts, and particularly in the literary fields. Unfortunately, over the past 20 years, the downward trend is nearly perfectly linear.

While poetry is now officially less popular than jazz, dancing and knitting, people like Cloiesha Wilson are keeping the art alive, and sharing it with people who can benefit from it the most.

Poetry, according to Wilson, is a method of escape and can help people overcome the most difficult of circumstances.

To learn more about Cloiesha Wilson, you can visit her personal website for more information and poetry recommendations.

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