Yes, today I feel like talking about poetry. I can already hear you groaning your disapproval, and fixing me with a glare. Either that or just laughing, as you think: “poetry? Pah…”
Poetry doesn’t really have a great reputation, does it? I mean… as far as I recall, the poets we studied in school were mainly Shakespeare, or men who survived wars and wrote about them, or women in the pre-equal vote era. No offence to the demographic, but it’s not easy for a hormone-saturated teenager to find some common ground and relate to that.
I suppose the most entertaining one was a rather raunchy poem by Andrew Marvell . This was an entire poem about sex, which is very amusing to teenagers. But then… there are a lot of poems out there about sex, or driven by the need for sex. Even Shakespeare’s sonnets were driven by lust or longing – or whatever you wish to call that need. It’s just that nowadays, we are very willing to be direct about everything, perhaps due to a fast-paced lifestyle, or because of short attention spans, or whatever you wish to attribute it to.
You might claim it is because we are willing to be more honest about what we feel and want, but I don’t know if that is the case. We’ve not evolved beyond emotion as a species in order for poetry to suddenly become irrelevant.
But who reads or writes poetry anymore? I’m still stuck on Shakespearean sonnets and Pablo Neruda’s “tonight I can write”, so I have trouble with poetry more modern than that.
[I don’t really know why I started this rant. I used to be a poet, until I was seduced by prose, and have never really gone back since – mainly because I don’t believe I can. And today, I walked into a local bookshop, and just stared at the poetry section, looking for answers to my doubt and frustration. Obviously there was no reply]