Crazy or Convincing? Essay

Submitted By marissaannw
Words: 836
Pages: 4

In the essay, “Why We Should Read Poetry”, by Amy Lowell, she describes all of the reasons she believes we should read poetry. She uses various tactics to make many valid points. The reader evaluates what points are influential to them, and if they agree or disagree with the arguments. In this essay, Lowell uses ethos, pathos, and logos to try to convince the reader that poetry could be considered essential to life.
Lowell states, “When trying to explain anything, I usually find that the Bible, that great collection of magnificent and varied poetry, has said it before in the best possible way” (p. 3). This statement appeals to the reader, because it makes them relate poetry to the Bible. For most people, the Bible is considered a credible source, so Lowell is giving her argument credibility by appealing to their ethics. She also makes the reader realize that the Bible can be considered poetry. Additionally, Lowell uses ethos when she says, “We should read poetry because only in that way can we know man in all his moods -- in the most beautiful thoughts of his heart, in his farthest reaches of imagination, in the tenderness of his love, in the nakedness and awe of his soul confronted with the terror and wonder of the Universe” (p. 10). This passage gives the reader a sense that reading poetry can make us pure. Most people believe that being pure is desired; therefore this point causes the reader to ponder if poetry is essential.
Furthermore, when Lowell states, “For what is baseball but a superb epic of man's swiftness and sureness, and his putting forth the utmost of the sobriety and vigor that is in him in an ecstasy of vitality and movement?” (p.3); she broadens her audience, because more people can relate to baseball. Many people have an emotional connection to baseball, because they played it or watched as a child, and it is a family activity. Taking something that people already have an emotional attachment to, such as baseball, can cause the reader to feel as if poetry could too be considered a necessity. “That most poems are written rhythmically, and that rhythm has come to be the great technical fact of poetry, was, primarily, because men under stress of emotion tend to talk in a rhymed speech. Read Lincoln's 'Address at Gettysburg' and 'Second Inaugural,' and you will see” (p.7). This statement has an emotional connection, because the “Address at Gettysburg” is a famous speech, and was delivered during a pivotal time in America. If that can be considered poetry, then it helps deliver the point that poetry may be essential to our lives.
Lowell also uses many logical arguments throughout the essay. She says, “Which, in modern words, means--cannot live on the purely material things. It is true, he cannot, and he never does. If he did, every bookshop would shut, every theatre would close its doors, every florist and picture dealer would go out of business, even the baseball grounds would close” (p.3). This argument is very logical, because we do not live without material goods. Everyday, we rely on them in order to survive. Therefore, if we need other material goods, we could need poetry. Another logical statement is when Lowell states, “I do not wish to be misunderstood. I do not mean