Thursday, December 22, 2016

Why So Many People Hate Poetry

In "The Great Short," there was a quotation about someone saying, "Truth is like poetry, and most people hate poetry." Obviously that person has not been in Russia or in France. As for the reasons that so many people in America hate poetry, probably the biggest one is the fault of poets themselves.

The "avant garde" and postmodern directions in poetry have been absolute rubbish. When I attended a DC Poets reading with a woman who is a magnificent visual artist, she told me, "I hope you never write that way."

Not only do these people produce absolute rubbish, but they are viciously abusive to people who produce poetry that is better than theirs. When Jewel came up with a poetry book, she was attacked very badly by these people. In fact Jewel's poetry is far better than anything that has come out of these movements; and it is completely wrong that she be getting subjected to that kind of treatment from people whose work is in every way her's inferior.

On a Google Groups forum called rec.arts.poems, someone claimed that my poetry was "so 1972." In 1972, people in America actually read poetry. That has not been the case in recent decades; and the reason, once again, is that poetry championed by media and academic movements of the time has been complete trash.

In Russia, on the other hand, people actually read poetry. And the poetry that is produced is poetry that is worthy of the name. I have put in a lot of effort and time into translating Russian poetry and songs into English, while retaining the original style and feeling. I have had a lot of good reviews of my translations. Even people who do not like contemporary American poetry have had good things to say about my work.

The solution to this problem is to produce - and disseminate - poetry that people actually want to read. Poetry that is actually poetry. Poetry that aims at such things as beauty and passion. Poetry that is poetic rather than cynical or cold. Poetry that actually inspires and moves.

I have seen very good poetry in several unlikely places, such as the Open Mike readings in DC and the Dan O'Connell readings in Melbourne. These people's work has beauty and meaning. If you don't like poetry, the most likely reason is that you haven't seen real poetry. Real poetry exists. But you won't find it in avant garde or postmodernist or academic poetry or anything of that sort.


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