Saturday, June 09, 2007

right on schedule


Must be about time for someone else to tell us all how irrelevant poetry is these days and how it’s all our fault for making “pomes” too hard. Or rather, old Tom and Ezra’s fault. Time to dig up the modernists and burn them at the stake. Indeed, that bastion of middlebrow culture Time Magazine, which probably never even mentions poetry except how it’s dying as an art form, has succeeded in seriously pissing me off. As I said a few posts ago, poetry is actually thriving these days. And someone is obviously reading it. I always get a little uneasy, when someone who doesn’t know all that much about poetry writes an article about it.

Of course when they talk about American Culture abandoning poetry, they never consider it could be because a huge majority of the American public has simply better things to do. Like fret over Paris Hilton in jail, watch reality tv, and look at internet porn. American Culture tends to, by and large, continually cater to the lowest common denominator, and I’m not so sure I’m all that upset about them abandoning the art form. The bulk of the American Public does not read at all, or if they do, not much of anything beyond TV Guide and the Enquirer. Maybe Harry Potter. These sorts of articles always summon the golden age when poets were rock stars. Poets WERE rock stars, but only because reading and poetry were pretty much the bomb in those days. Besides the performing arts (which you exactly take home with you), that was pretty much the only entertainment one could get. So I suppose you could blame radio. But even radio, as it was conceived in it’s heyday, could be considered a dying form. Blame TV. Blame VCR’s, DVD Players, Tivo. Blame the internet. Even as late as the fifties and sixties poetry was still a bit more in the general culture because people lived their lives as readers, not observers.


(hmmm..Byron WAS sort of hot...)

8 comments:

Bruno Buxton said...

Don't go bashing internet porn.

wickedpen said...

Maybe I should have said BAD internet porn...

K.A. Bell said...

I wouldn't say 'blame the internet', Kristy. If anything, the internet has helped poetry a great deal. Many have said for years that the printed word is obsolete (I don't agree), so the internet has certainly helped poetry in that regard. I think poetry is on the upswing, as well. I do agree with blaming TV, VCR's, Tivo, video games, cell phones, etc. I think that this ADD culture needs to snap out of it...and how sad is it that so many adults would rather read Harry Potter over a great book of poetry? It's depressing, really. This is what happens when Republicans cut arts programs left and right. You get a bunch of mindless dolts...and I hate stupid people.

wickedpen said...

Oh, no I agree..
see here:

http://kristybowen.blogspot.com/2007/06/building-your-own-boat.html

but not everyone is using the internet to publish and foster poetry..most of them are just looking for naked pics of Lindsay Lohan...

K.A. Bell said...

Yeah, good point. It's either Lohan or her equally vapid ex-friend Paris Hilton. I heard that comment about her on tmz.com being as useless as a fart in a mitten and I nearly doubled over in laughter...but, this is what people care about. Like I said...depressing.

SarahJane said...

amen. and it is telling when the best comparison they can come up with for the poetry foundation's coming into money is the beverly hillbillies.

Jilly said...

Don't go bashing the beverly hillbillies.

:)

Michelle Detorie said...

the other thing, I think, is that poetry (if we define poetry as a radical engagement with language and text) is thriving in hip-hop scenes, graffiti scenes, DIY craft scenes, and elsewhere. More and more, I think articles like the one in TIME are really talking about the demise of some culturally sanctioned bourgeois idea of poetry more than they are actually talking about *poetry.*