This is more than an opinion piece because I am really worried. An opinion piece, in general practice, is written when you need to defend or attack a party (maybe an idea, a person, an institution or anything else). Concern for poetry, however, is not an opinion. As a literature lover and as someone who reads a lot, have read a lot and wants to read more and more in the coming future, I am worried because I see a lack of standard poetry everywhere. There are people who are writing poems but they seldom touch the heights that I am accustomed to seeing and this worried me; this should worry everyone who is a serious reader of poetry.
Though the readers and poets, critics and experts, professors and lunatics would all come to attack me and say that poetry can never die because it’s eternal. Sonorous verse will always remain in the air. Blah… blah and all that. But, guess what? Do you see anyone around you who is not from a literary background and still taking as much interest in poetry as much as he or she takes in reading contemporary fiction? Let me know if you find some and I will wait to alter my opinion.
In reality, as much as I can observe with my literary nerves, poetry is no more thriving, even if it’s somehow managing to keep itself alive and running. You will have to understand this by looking at current reading and writing behaviours and patterns. How many people are writing poetry? How many readers are reading poetry? How many publishers are taking interest in poetry? How many poets are producing serious, appreciable and rich poetry? When we collect all data, analyse the same and interpret it, we can come to very significant knowledge.
Poetry, to be frank, has limited itself to the circles of academic scholars who have to deal with literature because they make money out of it. One more layer is created by those who study literature. And the final layer is comprised of all those readers who have had rich past experiences in reading poetry in a close relationship with some other people who were either literary scholars or too mich invested in poetry. General readers, to be honest, do not take interest in modern poetry because it is too elevated or too little. A reader wants to be entertained or enlightened or just lifted up from the feelings of boredom or grip of lifelessness. Does contemporary novel offer that? At times, yes. Can poetry be such a companion? Seldom… not most of the time. And this is the reason that poetry is out of order these days… it has lost its connection with the readers at large and those a few who read it are looking for something that contemporary poets seldom provide. So, the near future, as I can see from here, is gloomy for serious writers and readers of poetry!
By Rohan for Active Reader Book Blog