This post is part of a larger conversation begun by Glynn Young. You can read other responses to this question “Why poetry matters today” at his blog.
Poetry, like all forms of art, is communicative. Unlike non-representational art, poetry communicates concrete ideas and experiences, though these ideas are articulated through symbol and metaphor. Thus, poetry’s significance is found in its ability to integrate truth and beauty.
Today’s culture is too often lacking in both. Pope Benedict recently said that “the path of beauty as the best way for the Christian faith and the culture of our time to meet, besides being a valuable instrument for the formation of younger generation.” Poetry can uniquely guide people to the truth through the guideposts of meter, verse and rhyme.