Did Poetry Need Saving?

Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch

  • Are you a poet? Read the following statements:

“A day in the life can consist of all-day writing, touring, or, perhaps unprecedented for a poet, time in the office with her team to oversee operations and manage projects.

Building their own mini brands, poets can harness e-commerce to supplement their income.”

  • Did this make you flinch? Chances are you aren’t a wealthy poet.

Most likely, not a Rupi Kaur’s fan. You probably don’t think that Instagram saved poetry. You might very well doubt that poetry needed saving in the first place.

“But poetry, like any other art, must adapt to the world changing around it.” Must it? Hmm… I wonder.

  • Don’t despair. You are not alone.

“…the man who has often been called the greatest poet of the 20th century struggled to make ends meet. He accepted money from relatives to buy underwear and pajamas, and anxiety over his finances drove him to breakdowns.”

His name is T.S. Eliot.

Just keep writing poetry.

Image: Frans Hals. Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch, 1643. Oil on canvas, Overall: 32 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (82.6 x 66.7 cm). BF262. Public Domain.

 

Instapoetry & Literary Criticism; or You’re Free to Express Your Opinion, unless You Aren’t

 

  • “PG doesn’t claim to be an expert on all 21st century poets and writers, but doubts any have written anything like the following excerpts…” — David Vandagriff (aka PG) states his personal point of view, then proceeds with this quote from The Solitary Reaper, 1807 by Wordsworth:

I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

It’s fair to assume PG is not Rupi Kaur’s fan. What if he decided to criticize her Instapoetry? He wouldn’t be ostracized because of his poetic preferences, would he?..

  • “Most often, it seems, when the poet in question is a young woman of color, critics will be particularly intent on proving by a+b why her brand of poetry is blandly generic, consumerist in nature, trite and predictable. This is also often the opportunity for critics to dish out their definitions of what characterizes “good” or “bad” poetry—and those definitions are often shaped by voices from past centuries. Those voices most often happen to be older, if not dead, straight white males, and the critics justify their choice by highlighting the supposed impermanence and universality of their criticism. … Hailing Wordsworth as the end-all in terms of how we must consider poetry implies we’re erasing so much context—political, social, economic, cultural—from the equation. (How could you possibly use Harold Bloom to talk about gender, outside of a narrow, hypermasculine view?) ” — argues A.K. Afferez.

She condemns the practice of placing moral labels “good/bad” on texts. By analogy, placing a label “bad” on human beings, and marginalizing them because of their sexuality, race, and genderstraight, white malesseems “at best misguided”, doesn’t it?

Do you question “the profound instability, the slipperiness of any (italics mine) written text”? Do you always feel free to voice your opinion?

Share in the comments.

  • The notorious “toxic masculinity” may have a profound effect on a female writer:

“I had a really good father, and two really good grandfathers, and three really good brothers—far more men in my life than women, in fact. Probably that’s why I don’t think of male characters as being all that foreign to me. The biggest stretch I’ve had to make is reminding myself that men need to shave in the morning.” — Anne Tyler.

If you enjoyed the post, press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

 

Image: Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine Pham and her 13-month-old son Aiden after rescuing them from their home surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

 

 

 

 

A Small Niche, Instapoetry, & Bragging Time

Did you know that some magazines focus on work created by disabled writers?

“These magazines accept fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, essays, novel and memoir excerpts, reviews, drama, and, in some cases, artwork.”

Try your hand at Instapoetry.

Create an Instapoem, and enter The Missouri Review’s Instagram Contest!

This clogyrnach/acrostic of mine made the Top 10 list on WD Poetic Asides:

Last night the western welkin shone
In bridal glory, moonlight donned
The pure white and red
As Mars Venus wed;
Night is dead —
You are gone.