Where does poetry belong? In the literary journals or in the shopping mall? In my experience poetry has been esoteric. This hard-to-understand poetry is in books with titles like, The Best Canadian Poetry. So the implication is that if I don’t understand this best poetry, there’s something wrong with me.
Poetry readings are often like this – Two hours of poems and I don’t get one of them.
No. I’m not doing it anymore. I’m not going to feel bad because I don’t get the poems. Poetry has been taken away from the people and the poets themselves are partly responsible.
- Look at the success of slam poetry. These poets talk to the people.
- Study peoples who tell their traditions in poetry. It’s usually very clear.
- Notice the popularity of country western ballads and other forms of popular music which literary types make fun of as no poetry at all. Yet people know them and love them.
What did people do before TV? Before electricity? They often sat around the fire and recited poetry.
I plead with poets: The gods have given you poets a great gift. With your words you take us ordinary mortals up to the mountain top where we can see the whole world. But the gods do not give gifts for free. They expect you to share the wealth of your vision. Give poetry back to the people.
images courtesy of:
- small-towndad.blogspot.com acui.org