On The Poets

September 19th, 2007 · 3 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

Poor poetry, it is the Darfur of twenty-first century literature. Everyone wants to do something about it, but nobody quite knows what is to be done. Money is poured into it (think Miss Ruth Lilly’s $100 million bequest to Poetry magazine), prizes and titles are awarded to poets roughly every thirty-five minutes (think Poet Laureate of the State of New Jersey), new poets are produced roughly at the rate of rabbits (don’t think, lest serious depression set in, of all those endless MFA programs turning out more and more people who will themselves go on to teach in MFA programs). I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that in the United States today there are more practicing poets than members of the National Rifle Association. Poetry societies, poetry foundations, something called poet houses, everything but poetry soup kitchens are currently up and running, and yet it is fairly clear that none of it seems to have made for better poems.

File Under: Quote of the Week

3 responses so far ↓

  • bowerbird // Sep 19, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    well, i can’t blame you for not noticing,
    since you’ve got your head stuck in books.

    but poets are making big noises all over,
    by doing our work _out_loud_ instead of
    burying it in the dusty pages of books.

    here in my hometown of los angeles,
    da poetry lounge pulls 200 people weekly.

    over in hawaii, a monthly poetry slam
    has a regular audience of 300-600.

    oakland’s rowdy “tourettes without regrets”
    delights a rowdy crowd of 400 monthly.
    did i mention they are kind of rowdy?

    the national poetry slam runs 4 nights
    annually, and draws several thousand.

    the _youth_ equivalent is threatening to
    out-draw their adult counterparts any year.

    you might not think the poems are any good.
    frankly, we don’t care. you’re not our target.
    and when you diss poets, we laugh at you… :+)

    but, you know, have a nice day, and all… ;+)


  • Joe Devon // Sep 20, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Bowerbird writes poems
    I’m far more into fiction
    Why don’t her words rhyme?

  • Don Linn // Sep 26, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    That essay made my head hurt.