Poetry "Holding it to the light"
I poetry we the reader are asked one thing over and over again. This is what is life and the absence of it to you? Poetry is much like an interrogator to the reader in this way. So what of that? Well what poetry wants to ask us is to question our ideas on life. So what ideals do you hold? Now question those.
We see this in each poem we have read and in each era.
Shakespeare questions the ideals of sexuality and love.
Blake questions the ideals of the state of politics and of age.
Wordsworth questions religion and the state our souls.
Whitman questions the idea of connection and our souls.
Dickinson questions the ideals of death.
Carroll questions the automatic assumptions of people.
More specific examples:
In “Shall I compare thee” and “My Mistress’s eyes” by Shakespeare, Shakespeare directly contradicts himself on the ideas of what absolute beauty is and why to love. Should I love the appearance or love for something other. What is sexuality? These question come from his poems.
In “Jabberwocky” by Carroll, Carroll ask us how do we think and how do we get there. Carroll uses words that we do not know and yet we all get to the same conclusion.
So what is that? That is what we take without question in our youth.