from Home by Marilynne Robinson
Why do we have to read poetry? Why "Il Penseroso?" Read it and you'll know why. If you still don't know, read it again. And again. Some of them took the things she said to heart, as she had done when they were said to her. She was helping them assume their humanity. People have always read poetry. Trust that it will matter to you...Know what must be known. Ancient fathers taught their ancient children, who taught their ancient children, these very things... It is like a voice heard from another room, singing for the pleasure of the song, and then you know it, too, and through you it moves by accident and necessity down generations. Then, why singing? Why pleasure in it? And why the blessing of the moment when another voice is heard, dreaming to itself?