Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Poetry Dies: Part I

Some have said that poetry is a dead form, although there are, perhaps, an astronomical number of people writing it now or writing something that can fall into the category. Some seemingly erudite folks have even implemented pet names for these different categories/groups/styles/movements, but this post isn't concerned with terminology.

It's not surprising that any number of people are bringing their writing forward with the internet. The relative ease with which anyone can publish anything on the web allows for a wondrous array of work to present itself. We're burying ourselves on the internet. Take a click around the web, and you will find the number of places to read poetry overwhelming. I did when I first began to take notice of poetry in this medium more than a few years ago. The number of e-zines which spring up all the time is fantastic, but how many will last? On the internet, they will, conceivably, last forever, but where do you begin? Is any of it good? Is anyone making anything new? How do you judge it?

What makes people think that poetry a dead form? The fact that there are no more innovations? I find that hard to believe. People are still doing it. I'd like to think I was making something new and, I'm sure, the rest of the fools (and I use fools in an entirely complimentary way) who are doing it, for the most part, feel the same. People don't read it or do they? How do you get people to read more poetry? We must find a way to feed them. They don't know what they're missing.

Listening to one of Amy King's interviews for MiPoesias radio, she mentioned someone trying to drum up ways to spread the news of poetry, something that, personally, I've been pondering since my earliest college days. As a poet, how can anyone not consider this issue? How do we get poetry out there? How can I get people to read my poetry and the poetry of my peers? Blogging it and updating online periodicals may only reach so many, although it's beginning to reach more folks than the old-fashioned hard-copy stuff. I base this remark on my own practice, which revolves around the internet. After all, it's much easier to point my friends and family to my poetry with a hyperlink, and they're more likely to take a look, however brief. It's virtually impossible to find the other, especially if you're not as motivated as the poets who whore themselves out to those old college-try rags.

This inaccessibility, hiding poetry in relatively obscure print journals, is one of the reasons that many consider poetry a dead form. It's easy to find poetry on the web, thought, even if you aren't looking for it. Take, for example, a list of searches which produced this blog as a match:
7 marcacci bob
1 pino marcacci
1 pink narcissus*photos
1 fake roasted pig
1 financial castration
1 doorway decor
1 back of throat painful after scratching off white patch
1 kang ping - yao / pigeons
1 how to say hanami
1 fought a losing battle cigarette
1 taoist stautes
1 blog simona putignano
1 moon hill yangshuo killed tourist
1 bansai sports
1 hutong pizza
1 link:
1 askar uighur singer china
Obviously, if you're specifically looking for me, as the first item shows the number of times that search was performed, then you can find me easily enough. If you're looking for something else, you might find me, as well, and I couldn't have dreamed up a better list if I thought of one myself. Apparently, I've written about these things at one point in time or another.

I think the only way to do it, to expand the reach of poetry, is just to keep talking about it, writing it, sharing it with friends and family, and simply making it a part of our daily lives. Do we want a poetry revolution? I don't know. Is it happening? I think so, but I'll leave that for my next post.

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