Saturday, March 24, 2012

#361. Poetry


Poets hate each other.

I don't know how else to say that.  (Please continue reading my regular entries at Epistles from the New Fade.)  The truth is, that's the only conclusion I can reach.

When I attended the University of Maine, I didn't start out as someone who was all that interested in poetry.  I had attended one year at Mercyhurst College, and started a poetry project after a field trip to Boston (which was ironic, because heading up to Eric, PA was the first time I'd left the New England area, and here I took a trip to...New England), but hadn't really considered any further association with the literary form.  Yet one thing led to another, and this English major (eventual hugely beneficial holder of a degree) and I took one poetry class, and then another, and I sort of became a member of the poetry scene on campus.  (Emphasis on "sort of.")

The New Writing Series launched on campus around this point (you can do the research on that if you'd like), and very curiously, seemed receptive to just about everyone the director of the program could reach except the two major, active poets who were actually members of the faculty.  I didn't really consider how weird that was at the time, possibly because one of them was good friends and collaborator with the director.

In hindsight, after he sorted of skirted any real effort in helping me get a foot in the door of the wider scene upon my graduation, I guess it was kind of appropriate.  When I say I was a part of the scene, and when I say "sort of," I mean that the "scene" disintegrated at the first stiff breeze.  I didn't expect that.  I thought that it was going to last longer than a season.  But it didn't.

And so that helps me reach my conclusion.  Poets don't like each other, not in the modern age, anyway.  I've been doing this blog for a long time, and have now launched five poetry blogs.  Most people don't read other people's blogs anyway, not unless they think they can somehow benefit from it.  But it's a little weird to keep running into that.  I just assumed after many years of writing poems there would be a smidgen of interest, and yet, there isn't.  And so, I conclude, with mock sincerity, that poets don't like each other.  They hate each other, in fact.

How else to put it?  There is no poetry scene because no modern poet is remotely interested in actually saying anything, or acknowledging that anyone might actually have something to say.  There has been such an extreme reaction, like rock music, to the expected and trying to do anything but (while many, many poets do exactly that) that everyone suffers when no one wants to try and reach out...

Am I being a little drastic here?  Probably.  But drastic is good.  Drastic is passion.  Poetry ought to have passion.  If it doesn't, what can possibly be the point?  Just to detail every little expected part of human experience?  Poetry ought to be about the unexpected, everything everyone knows but can't put into words.  Not just the exact way the sunlight hits the windowsill...

Okay, I'm done.  Please read my poems.  Or not.  Probably not.  But it'll still be there.

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