Why does poetry still exist? I mean, really, it’s an archaic art form that had it’s revival during the heyday of the Poetry Slam a few years ago, and now should just go away. Like Netscape…not because they are useless or redundant, no: far from it. Literature would not exist without poetry, and the Internet would be reserved for those who knew how to decode HTML without Netscape. For whatever reason, their time is just done.
Seriously. Think about it: when was the last time you read a relevant and new poem? Poetry has metamophosised into a new creature: lyrics, rhymes, spam poetry…we just don’t do poetry like they used to. And anyone who calls themselves a “poet” is either 76 years old, or completely delusional. It would be like:
“So what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a telegraph operator.”
“But nobody uses the telegraph anymore.”
“Yeah, but that’s what I do.”
“I’m not sure.”
All the other avenues of art have evolved, why hasn’t poetry?
Now this thread is entirely inspired by listening to the CBC. The other day, they just had someone reading some contemporary, racially-charged poetry over the air. I was like: “How does this speak to anyone?” And DO NOT even get me started on the topic of spoken word. I can not and will not, deal.
I majored in creative writing at uni, and the idea today of being assigned the task of writing poetry is maddening. I would protest. Actually, I would not take that course to begin with. I do encourage, however, the study of poetry. There is much to be learned about our language and English culture through all art. Which brings me to the next idea: How can classical music, written hundereds of years ago, be interpreted properly? How can a player today possibly know how to play a composition when their existence was not informed by the appropriate culture? It’s like giving a Neanderthal a PS3 controller and expecting that he would know exactly what to do with it. Why do we try and force intuition? Is it merely in the name of preservation and tradition? Or is it rooted in something far deeper than that?
Please, I invite my readers to prove me wrong. I figure, since nobody is allowed to buy books anymore, that most youngsters don’t even know what poetry is anyway…