Relevance In Art Form

by kendralgraham

Stereotypically poetry is either romance and rhymes or boring dribble and nonsense. Poetry is synonymous with many things it just depends on who you talk to. If you had asked me not to long ago I would have told you poetry was something I got nothing out of, until that is I came across Rita Wong’s collection of poems, forage. By touching on current events society often turns a blind eye to, forage gives commentary and opinions on environmental atrocities and political controversies. Using forage Wong creates relevance in art form and is able to sway even me into embracing the facts she presents us with.

Presented in two parts “rise/riven/rice” and “lore/loose/lode,” Wong’s individual poems touch on everything from human over-consumption and waste to genetically modified foods and capitalism. Wong’s poems are refreshing because they refuse to shy away from the harsh realities people don’t want to face. For example, in “perverse subsidies” Wong doesn’t sugar coat that humans are one of the main contributors to global climate change because of the selfish and wasteful choices they make. The poems themselves are easy to read and feel good and lyrical in your mouth when read aloud. Wong’s writing style conveys the environmental issues she wants to get across clearly and effectively.

Bringing an additional layer of context to her work, numerous poems in forage have ‘handwritten’ annotations accompanying them. These annotations often provide insight into Wong’s inspiration behind the piece or encourage readers to continue to educate themselves about the issues being discussed. For example, in “nervous organism” the accompanying quote expresses discontent at the idea that people do not react with more anger towards the idea of our food being genetically modified. Environmental issues are often given to us in news stories or fact based articles that fail to capture our attention. forage is able to not only capture our attention because of the rare way it presents readers with information but because of the way it leaves readers desiring more.

forage stands out in the mind of readers not only because of the unfamiliar way it is presented but also because of the topics it touches on. While many of the pieces are strangely beautiful (even if they are talking about garbage), none of the pieces are nonsense. Diving into issues that demand your attention, forage is a book that should be read today so you can educate yourself on how to help the world tomorrow.

WORD COUNT: 409

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2 Comments to “Relevance In Art Form”

  1. Another great post. Thanks for sharing this. Spending time sitting down to writing short stories and poems is something I truly enjoy in life. I enjoy reading your blog very much.

    A Great Day for Spring – Poem

  2. I’m very glad you enjoyed forage as much as I did, but I think you’re introductory sentence could use revision…poetry certainly isn’t for everybody but I feel your comment is unfair.
    Otherwise the review is commendable and your final statement is great.

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