Who is killing poetry?

Who is killing poetry?: I used to be of the opinion that poetry was dying because readers were killing it. And maybe that’s true. In fact, maybe it’s dead already — I don’t know anyone who reads poetry anymore, though I know...

"Sure, self-publishing is a concern from the point of view of quality control — all over the world (as Valeri Macon found out when it was reason enough for her to step down as poet laureate in North Carolina) and poetry is no stranger to cultural controversy, as was true since anti-Semitic Ezra Pound was handed the Bollingen Prize. Readership levels will rise and fall according to what you put on the top shelves and push into the market with furore. That’s not a secret. But, even though I love the art form, dabble in it and would love to spend hours listening to someone talk about it — the constant cultural debate that forms such a central part of it in every book, poem, discussion and lecture of it makes it easier for me to keep my love of it in the shadows and stay at a slight distance from all the fanfare. It makes it easier to let it sit, embroiled in that constant debate, than to dive in head-first and come out with no art to speak of.
Who’s really killing poetry then? Readers have been in a love-hate war with it since its inception so let’s not put all the blame on them — after all, most pop culture is proof that are several ways to rope in an audience without talent on your side. Publishing houses are not guilt-free when it comes to its demise either — but, maybe, if we open up to poetry being about — well, poetry, there’d be a little more time to focus on the art instead of only focusing on its role in society or its cultural identity."


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