A good friend and wonderful poet, Kenneth Brauchler, in a post on his site, The Mirror Obscura, pointed to an article by John Barr, past president of the Poetry Foundation, entitled American Poetry in the New Century. Originally written in 2006, it rings as real and true now (and perhaps more) as it did then and I urge everyone to read it…heck, to print it out and memorize it!
His call for a new approach to an accessible, understandable and relevant poetic standard has coalesced something in me that has been vaguely swirling for some time, but upon which I could not put a finger, let alone name. I have no idea what it will do to me, or if even I can rise to the challenge, but I mean to try.
Just two key points:
1) He points out how the poets were, at the start of World War 1, unready and had no poetic voice to be able to describe that conflict; that it required a few actual veterans of the conflict to break out of their traditional forms and world views to be able to start describing the horrors of that conflict.
2) He notes the preponderance of the lyric style of poetry in the modern world—poetry typically written in the present tense which expresses personal, and usually emotional, feelings or insight—and points out that while a valid and excellent form, it is also tired and overused, and that for the new century, a new paradigm was needed. Oops…guilty!
So again, I urge you to click on the link and read the article. If poetry or the arts means anything to you, you will be intrigued and, I think, interested, if not galvanized.
Thank you for dropping by and listening.
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