Felix Jung, 20×2 Chicago: Why Is It Important?

I had a challenging time answering the last 20×2 Chicago prompt: Why is it Important?

I went through a few versions, tried a few different approaches. One draft had me talking about why it’s important to argue well in a relationship, and how arguing/fighting in a relationship is something people (me included) spend a long time learning how to do. And it’s hard to do that thing well.

After a long while working on this, I ultimately decided to scrap it. The subject matter felt too forced, and my heart really wasn’t into what I was saying. I felt like I was trying to just satisfy the letter of the question.

So I shifted back to comfortable territory, and decided to read some poems (by other people). I would explain why poetry is important by sharing some poems that really take my breath away.

This felt like cheating, but at the least it was sincere and heartfelt (and better than what I had previously). On paper, it’s kind of a lame proposal. But I feel like it went better in actual execution:

The poems I shared:
love rejected, by Lucille Clifton
Sixth Grade, by Jeanie Greensfelder
Easter, by Jill Alexander Essbaum

And also, I briefly mentioned Four Hundredth Mile, by Roger Mitchell. And the couplet I love so much.

There were a ton of great participants at the event, with each person bringing their own answer to the question “Why is it important?” You can view everyone from the evening, twenty in all, in this full playlist.

The World Moved
20×2 Chicago: Why Is It Important?
Reading Poems Again
Reading Poems at Tuesday Funk

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