Saturday, February 4, 2012
All fired up about...Poetry
You heard it here first. Poetry is making a comeback.
I'm convinced of it for a couple of reasons. First, that I've seen any number of new poetry books that interest me of late. That, of course, may not be a good enough reason as I've always liked poetry, and maybe it's pure coincidence.
Secondly though, I've had three discussions in as many days about this. One writer friend and one editor friend both said, out of the blue, that they felt poetry was on the verge of becoming more popular again. And at an academic dinner meeting it turned out that all four of us were fired up about poetry. Surely their reinforcing of something I was already seeing has to be more than just coincidence?
I have my own reasons as to why I think poetry could be popular. People are busy. Poetry is short. That's one thing it has going for it. But more than that, poetry is expressive, unique, and very much a voice of the moment (even if that voice is eternal). It fits right in with Facebook and Twitter and soundbites. It captures and freeze-frames the essential things. It is also powerful and passionate, and above all, beautiful.
The real reason I thing poetry is poised for popular appeal is this. I introduced poetry to my students the other day as part of my Enjoying the Short Story course. We looked at poetry and then I had them playing with words, with images, creating their own poetry. And I was overwhelmed by the response.
Poetry, it would seem, has captured the imagination of many young people.
Classic poetry. Haiku. Modern. Beat. Slam.
A poem by any other name still smells as sweet.
What do you think? Have a favourite poem or style of poetry? Leave a comment here or on Twitter.