Was listening to an interview of Neil deGrasse Tyson, talking about science (he's an astrophysicist), and he says that he thinks "the job of the poet" is to "reveal to the reader the beauty of something so simple you had taken it for granted".
I think there's a lot to that, but I'm not a poet, and I don't like much poetry, to be honest. What do the poets here think about that statement?
Personally, I'm a huge fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, so thanks for bringing this up.
I've been starting my own journey with poetry recently, consuming and producing more poetry than I have ever before, and I have to say that to an extent he's absolutely right. Part of the beauty of poetry, especially in the use of metaphor, is the ability to take something familiar and make it completely new again. For example, I recently read a poem by Robert Frost, I'm blanking on the title, but he compares old snow, filled with dirt and grime, to a newspaper. Since then, I haven't been able to think of old snow without associating it with that image. On the other hand, there is a lot of poetry that tackles incredibly complex and personal ideas about religion, life, purpose, ect. Sometimes these ideas are compared to simple, beautiful things, but often, especially in more surreal poetry, the ideas really aren't simplified much at all.
So I guess I'm on the fence about Neil deGrasse Tysosn's theory here. It's a cool idea, fairly poetic in it's own right, but really, poetry spans a large area and the idea is probably too simplified.