Last week, an editorial appeared on MIT’s newspaper lamenting the cut of the university’s Advanced Poetry Workshop due to financial restraints. And we rather agree — especially if, instead of continuing the poetry class, MIT is deciding to offer a class on “Communicating With Mobile Technology.” Really, MIT? A class on how to text and use Twitter? Instead of poetry!?
Clearly there are some (apparently the administrators of MIT) who can argue a scientist doesn’t need to know how to conjure lyrical verse in the engineering lab. Yet, the MIT editorial makes the very bold claim that “poetry, as long as man could string words together into longer, more involved metaphors and language-pictures, has been the remedy for our dumbness.” Maybe Einstein can provide a more eloquent (or poetic?) defense for the study of verse — “pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” That’s right, MIT. If soon-to-be-scientists are able to study how to communicate with their buddies over Facebook, they should at least be offered a class to practice the art of poetry.