Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural note

Listening to the Inauguration today, it reminded me of something, something that nobody is supposed to say out loud, especially a writer.

Poetry sucks.

There. I said it.

Today's poetry is particularly offensive - meandering and meaningless. I like a little poetry, assorted TS Eliot, Dylan Thomas, etc., but I'm not sure there's been a poet worth his or her salt in fifty years.

If you want to know why I so oppose movies moving toward elitism, just listen to that poem and see what it's done for poetry.


Pinko Punko said...

That poem could be better on paper, possibly. Her delivery didn't transcend the "by numbers" feel of it. I think it was a tough assignment. The delivery dominated any thoughts on how it would come across, and she wasn't dynamic. Zombie Robert Frost would have been preferable.

Also, it is your move in Scrabble.

Chuck said...

I like Bukowski's poetry. You can accuse that man of many things, but elitism isn't one of them.

K. Bowen said...

Well, I'm exxagerating about the fifty years thing. There's actually a pretty good poet named .... Kevin Bowen. But I do think poetry has increasingly become cloistered and written mainly for the enjoyment of other poets in recent years. The poem yesterday is what happens when cloistered academics meet the real world and the real world goes, "huh?"

Also I think free verse/blank verse/whichever it is has turned poetry into the modern art of literature. It doesn't require real talent anymore. And poets reading aloud in that standard-issue third-grade teacher voice that poets seem to prefer nowadays ... yuck.

I think one of the secrets to film's vitality is that it is expensive to make, and therefore it has to draw an audience. That's even true of edgy indies. It's got to speak to something that's happening out there.

And incidentally, while I think writing workshops have blanded it out somewhat, I do like short stories and novels.