Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Poetry Month!

For those of you who are interested, this month is National Poetry Month, and the question always remains, how (and should we bother) to celebrate?  In my mind, and I'm sure in the minds of most people, poetry is associated with long-hair hippies and dissatisfied community college professors who stand at a mike and drone on during poetry readings.  Poetry used to be (and still should be, in my opinion) associated with the expression of things that are real and true. 

My general opinion on the matter is that musical lyrics have absorbed the role that poetry used to play--before music could be mass-reproduced, books were the easiest thing to distribute to large groups of people, and so Byron and Keats had their heyday.  It was only after recordings became available that musical lyrics took on the role of expressing what the masses were thinking or feeling.

That's not to say that poetry as "poetry" doesn't exist, anymore, and I'd bet that a large number of Americans have jotted down a poem in secret when they were feeling especially emotional.  But the medium has had to change, and with the invent of the internet, I think a whole new realm of possibility has opened up--poetry has the opportunity to become important again.  It's just a matter of taking advantage of that opportunity.

Anyway, my point is, this month I'm going to try to find examples of poetry that can and should "speak" to us.  How successful I'll prove to be is another question entirely, since I still do associate poetry with long-hair hippies and dissatisfied community college professors.

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