What does poetry do? What is its purpose? To me, poetry is essential because poems have literally changed the way in which I look at and listen to the world. There are poems that, when I read them more than once, have slowly and with time revealed to me places of my own personal experience. There are poems that I have read over and over again, knowing that they contained some secret knowledge that I had yet to discover, but refused to give up on. Poetry is important because it makes us think; it inspires us to meditate on our lives and to reconcile ourselves with a world that we take too much for granted. Moreover, poetry renews and deepens the gift that most surely makes us human: the imagination. This is crucial because the more imaginative that we are, the more humane we become – and that, without a doubt, is the highest virtue of all.

In this issue, Beyond magazine celebrates poetry through twelve selected poems.

Pascale Saad