The Uses of Poetry
This is an account of the part played by poetry in the life of man from earliest times to the present. Older than prose, it was the vehicle for his technology, history, philosophy and science; it helped him feel at home in his environment; it was the social element between him and his fellows. Mr Thompson explores these many facets in the earlier chapters of his book, and then goes on to consider the impact of printing when in his view poetry became subtler but ceased to be a popular possession. However, as Mr Thompson shows, poetry could still be of value in helping people to cope with the strains of living, in assimilating the implications of vast new fields of knowledge, and in keeping alive the idea of humanity in a dehumanising age.
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