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Is Poetry a Replacement for Religion?
@octavia I agree. As I stated earlier, poetry can be an excellent representation of religion, but it cannot stand in as its own religion. However, portraying religion and presenting it in a completely "accurate" way (as accurate as it can be to oneself) can be extremely difficult. Using poems to tell stories and give descriptions of religion can be extremely useful.
@delphine If you can use poetry to describe religion, can't you take that a step further to use poetry as a religion? Many poetic devices seem like they could be used in place of formal religious teaching, imagery can describe a higher power, metaphors can make the higher power seem relatable, and all it takes a some stretching of the imagination and poetry could be seen as a divine medium through which a higher power communicates.
@leinweber I see what you're saying, but personally I think religion is a concept and not just a written thing. When you write things out to represent certain aspects of religion, you are writing to represent a concept, and idea and belief, something that can not be necessarily touched or held, only the representation of it can. I liked how you connected the different aspects of poetry to religion, it was very creative, but even you said, it's a medium through which the divine can communicate.
It's a very interesting idea, and I have not thought that much into it before. I see where poetry could be comparable to the scripture of religion, as they both hold the power of their words being somewhat equally empowering, but poetry in my eyes is the expression of stories within a different form of writing whereas I see religion as a basis of a lifestyle with the same construct followed throughout its own genre.
@gardella Poems may not be as easy to read as other forms of literature, but I believe that they are very important and can be so moving and beautiful. Also, there is a reason that poems are not one big paragraph. I would recommend that next time you read a poem, pay attention to the lines and why you think the poet chose to split up the lines the way they did. The lines are the way they are for a reason, and if you notice it, you will find a lot more meaning-trust me! I also think you should change your outlook on poems, you can "learn" a lot. Poetry isn't exactly going to be spewing facts at you, but poetry can open you up to see new ways to look at life, express feelings, and so many interesting ideas! Poems do not exactly spell out the meaning, which makes them all the more interesting and beautiful.
@a2m0n2 I think that some poetry relates to one's religion but for sure poetry is an extension of one's feelings and art. I think that when someone writes poetry it relates to them in some sort of way, in the case of religion it's the same thing. So as long as we know the poem about religion relates to them then I don't think it's a replacement.
@gardella That is an interesting take you have going on there. You are disvalidating poems to yourself by saying they are too complex. Well I believe that you may not like religion if you are not into complex things. While religion and poems are heavily related in the aspect of writing and maybe meaning, there is a fundamental truth about them. It is that poems take inspiration and meaning from religion. This may be for a number of different factors, but regardless of that ,they still hold deep enough meaning through lenghty and quite abrasive paragraphs. So don't limit yourself because everything is written for a reason.
@delphine I do have to agree with you here. Poems are nowhere near as lenghty or complex as any sacred title I have read. Another fundamental difference I noticed between these two is plagirized and promoted sins in poems. Although they take basis off of the bible the mans desire is expressed through them.
@octavia Previously I was more comparing religious texts and poems, but now that you stated the entirely of religion is to be looked at I now further believe that religion cannot so simply be replaced by poetry. While poetry is a complex form of written art, it seems that religion just has so many factors that there is no easy way to replace it. One similarity with poetry and religion though is the idea of embodying it, letting both become a part of yourself. Poetry and religion can both be so strongly channeled through one's self that they seem to be more agreeable in unity rather than replacement.
@abuzz I love how you brought up the aspect of them being unified rather than being replaced. I hadn't thought of it that way before, and now that you mention it, I can absolutely see that. I think both religion and poetry can come hand in hand for sure. It is a means of representing religion, and religion can't be expressed without a medium. So, working hand in hand in unity makes sense.
Something that poetry cannot provided that religion does is faith in some sort of afterlife. In the Abrahamic religions around the world, most if not all have the concept of some sort of after life that a follower is supposed to look forward to. Meanwhile poems can only mimic how religion tells one how to live life. If someone can show me a poem or an Idea in a poem that encourages them to look forward to the after-life, i would be pleased to take a look at it.
Poetry can be composed for religion or can represent different ideals of a religion but it is not at all a replacement of religion. Religion to me is a set of beliefs, such as there being a higher power like God. I don't think people worship poems but if they do maybe it could be considered a religion. For me though, poetry is not a religion and I don't think I would consider it to be!
For poetry and religion to relate, one would have to turn the world of poetry into a lifestyle with certain set rules followed by a group of people. Poetry is an expression of feelings on topics that may hold the same power as religion, but it does not contain those essential items that correlate together to create it into what we know as religion. Both groups reveal a message to the public, which gives off a similar structure, but with so much more complex measures going into the basis of religion, poetry simply cannot reach that.
@octavia - I agree with you. Religion is not just in a written form, it's a complete concept that involves a written form. It cannot just simply be replaced by poetry even though poetry does have its complexity. Poetry is not a concept and therefore it is incomparable to religion.
@gardella I like your idea in the end of your post that references not being the point of the poem. As much as I can agree on not liking them who is to say they do or don't teach you something? After looking at poetry during highschool and after going through some of the content provided in this class I made an observation that makes poems make sense. Poems teach structure. They provided the writer and the reader an insight of how something should be done. Take the sonnets that we wrote for example in chapter six, lines 1 and 3 and 2 and 4 each ending word had to rhyme. Along with the really difficult rhythm, or at least to me was hard. I understand that essays have structure, but to me they are so basic and open ended meaning you can change small parts to suit your writing needs. With poems however each specific type of poem has to be written a certain way to fit the structure and go under that category.
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