What is the goal of poetry? Is it to make music with language? To express feeling? To make an argument? It’s likely, for any given poet, to be at least one of these things—and possibly all.
Irish poet Sinéad Morrissey first caught my attention with her long poem “The State of the Prisons” about the 18th century reformer John Howard’s humanitarian mission to bring some sanity and basic decency to England’s prisons. Morrissey brought to life a fascinating story from history using regular stanzas and a bit