Is the human brain hardwired to appreciate poetry?

In 1932 T.S. Eliot famously argued, ‘Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.’ But can we really appreciate the musical sound of poetry independent of its literary meaning? Apparently yes. A recent study has shown that the brain displays a positive electrophysiological response when presented with sentences that conform to certain poetic construction rules. It is the first demonstration of unconscious processing of poetic constructs by the brain….

In 1932 T.S. Eliot famously argued, ‘Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.’ But can we really appreciate the musical sound of poetry independent of its literary meaning? Apparently yes. A recent study has shown that the brain displays a positive electrophysiological response when presented with sentences that conform to certain poetic construction rules. It is the first demonstration of unconscious processing of poetic constructs by the brain….