Reading Szymborska’s Nobel Lecture ‘The Poet and the World’ has allowed me to consider the world concerning poetry in relation to the purpose of life. As Szymborska says, poets “publicly confess to being poets only reluctantly as if they were ashamed of it.” Is this due to the way we perceive jobs which have regular work, income and scheduling to be more important or more valuable? Or is it simply due to the fact that we are ignorant to the world of poetry and the deep meaning it has on the world? Oftentimes, people look down on the profession of poetry because they do not fully understand the magnitude and impact that poetry can have. Poetry is based on inspiration and the idea of examining the ‘I don’t know’ of the world, the aspects that we are yet to understand and the elements of new learning and understanding. In this sense, poetry is possibly one of the most important art forms that exist in today’s world, in the way that it allows readers to question, come up with potential answers to the unknown and create new ideas and thinking that may have not existed. As Szymborska says “in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal.” Because poetry is so distinctly different from poet to poet and exists in every one of us in a different form, there are unique ways in which it can be written and interpreted, therefore effectively changing the central meaning that it explores. This central meaning changes our views of the world and allows for the creation of something new, something new under the sun that didn’t exist before.
Another idea I found deeply interesting was the idea that “inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists.’ Every job, even the most analytical, less creative seeming jobs can have inspiration as inspiration is essentially born from the unknown and from pursuing an endless trail of ‘I don’t know’s. I had never thought of my dad to day life to be filled with inspiration but now I realise that the day to day challenges I face, the difficulties and setbacks that spark my curiosity are all new questions emerging from a poem and are the fundamental route for inspiration. Initially, I thought that you only needed the inspiration to reach a goal, but now I realise that inspiration is needed to consider all the unknown in the world and continue to be in a world where we question and develop new ideas and concepts based on new-found knowledge. Even if the poetry we write today is not acknowledged in the form of high pay, success indicators like wealth and status, it has value in the form of its contribution to society and society’s knowledge that will continue to be valuable as civilisations change.
I believe that poetry, essentially shows the evolution of human thought and the human nature of the unknowns in the world, allowing us to build on our curiosity and creativity. Inspiration allows us to have new innovation, ideas and developments; changing our civilisations in ways most relevant to humanity today and ways that address our questions.