All That’s Left Are Mothers, Dogs and Poetry

Josh Rose
3 min readJun 11, 2024

Most bookstores only nod to the existence of poetry, and to peruse their modest shelves of line-breakers, is to step back in time… not just to early 19th century Europe, but, worse, to grade school. 46.5% of children aged 8 to 11 read poetry in their free time, according to a survey by the National Literary Trust. But it drops to about 22% for those aged 11 and older. By adulthood, only 3.5% of adults engage with poetry daily. I believe it drops not because we’re too busy to read it, but because we end up believing we don’t need to.

By middle school, we are taught to look at poetry, not as an art, but as important abstract history. We analyze the poem, and in so doing, turn an art form that we know as free-flowing, fun and magical into something intellectual and hard. And we leave it behind, at a huge, but non-quantifiable cost.

Perhaps you’ve heard the line in Asphodel, That Greeny Flower, where William Carlos Williams writes,

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

This incredible passage about the importance of poetry is one of my favorite lines ever written in the English language, yet it comes at the end of a very long poem about regret. His regret. Without the deep, heartfelt, apologetic exploration of what he’s…



Josh Rose

Filmmaker, photographer, artist and writer. Writing about creator life and observations on culture. Tips very very much appreciated: