I sometimes feel like poetry is this pretty awesome party we are all enjoying, that is, until the cops break in and turn up the lights and all the poets scurry roach-like into the corner and feel all embarrased by what they are actually doing out here in the world of blockbusters and reality television and cultural wastelandishness. I feel this way mostly whenever the people outside the po-world (um..that would be just about everyone) suddenly take notice of poetry, like, in this case, the inaugural poem by Richard Blanco. I actually though it was okay in the *omgIhavetowriteapoemincouple weeksforthisbigevent* sort of genre, but not so awesome as a poem in the general scheme of things (and traditionally, no matter who wrote them, inaugural pooems tend to be the poet's blandest, most vanilla, sampling of work). The gawker response, coupled with this sort of funny thing(and by funny I mean tragic)had me feeling all self-conscious for poetry in today's world, who seems, when the lights came up, to have been caught with her knickers down.
If this is what is presented as poetry, is it not surprising that people hate poetry? And, hell, if the public thinks poetry is all about rhyming, then we've already failed, haven't we? Both of these are pretty weak links in the poetry armada, and yet, aren't they what the public expects, aren't they sort of, what they (the masses) deserve? My poetry world feels a little stifling and closed off today. I like to think that what I write, what we publish at dgp. has an appeal to the non-poetry schooled, but then, what are the expectations they bring to a poem? What are my expectations when I send or put it out in the world?
Anyway I am thinking about these things and maybe writing later and making soup from scratch that always fogs up my windows on cold days like today (it happens sometimes (rarely) and it is a wonderful thing..)