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Why do we read, or write poetry, as opposed to prose? Jo Fidgen talks to poet Jane Hirshfield, neuroscientist Usha Goswami, Brazilian poetry expert Paulo Lumatti and Rachel Kelly.

Jo Fidgen asks why we read, or write poetry, as opposed to prose? What can poetry do that prose can’t? And why do we respond to poetry in a way that we don’t respond to prose? Jo talks to award-winning American poet Jane Hirshfield, to Cambridge cognitive neuroscientist Usha Goswami, to Brazilian “cordel” poetry expert Paulo Lumatti and to Rachel Kelly, author of Black Rainbow, who found poetry helped her recover from severe depression, and now reads poems in workshops with prisoners and others.

(Image: A poet writes before a poetry performance at a club in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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18 minutes

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Sun 16 Nov 2014 05:32GMT

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