Friday, June 08, 2007

Okay, we get it, you're not interested...

"Chances are, you don't read much poetry, at least not the new stuff. Don't feel bad, hardly anybody does. To hit the best-seller list for verse, a book has to sell only around 30 copies. Poetry is the spinach in America's media diet: good for you, occasionally baked into other, tastier dishes (like the cameo that W.H. Auden's Funeral Blues made in Four Weddings and a Funeral) but rarely consumed on its own. In the hierarchy of cultural pursuits it sits somewhere just below classical music and just above clogging."
Okay, ouch.  But at least we're the spinach and not the beets.


  1. Hi Kelli:

    Funny thing was I was debating the posting of this with a few choice coments on my own blog.

    The story of Lilly's reclusive great-granddaughter Ruth and her gift to the "impoverished little literary magazine" called Poetry, which via John Barr will turn the world upside down and restore Poetry to the top of public interest, has appeared in so many so many different venues over the last year, one can almost come to believe that by marginalizing this niche of the literary arts we might actually make people clamor to read poetry.

    Somehow, Barr’s approach strikes me as akin to reducing the artwork of the great master painters to sketches of stick people. Sort of watering down the wine at a wine and cheese party to make it go further. Sure, you can serve more, but what is it they are partaking of?

    Thisha become like a hobby to Mr. Barr. Sure I find it admirable that he wants to expose the world to poetry. I just don’t care for those who try to direct and shape to nature and substance of art for others.

    Okay, got that off my chest. :)

  2. I like beets. I think it is in my genes haha.

    I know -- that article. Sigh. I read it and it made me feel like what's the point for a nanosecond.

  3. Interesting how Time magazine consistently gets wind of breaking news years (or decades -- or centuries) after it was news. "Look -- poetry exists! Who knew?"

    (Hmmm. Beet poets. Has a familiar ring, somehow...)

  4. Funny, poetry doesn't seem dead. Let me put my ear on its chest for a moment.... Nope, I think I hear a heartbeat. Maybe poetry is taking a nap. It's summertime after all.


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