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Poetry: Let's maybe talk about it I guess.

Poetry is not popular in our time. I'm not sure why.

I'd say it's because we're post-Enlightenment, but the Enlightenment loved the shit out of poetry because it used to be HILARIOUS. Then the Romantics picked it up and...y'know...did their thing with it, and then the Victorians said "OH! We can be like a novel! Oh, we love the novel. It is our favorite. Make poetry like that." Then the Aesthetes came in at the end of the 19th century and wrote poems with titles like "Athanasia" and "Penumbra" and wandered down lanes holding flowers in their open hands because it was beautiful.

Rule Britannia

Then, y'know. We reached the Modern Era and everyone was sick of everything and jaded because of the War and they decided to say "Fuck it" to the past and just go off and do their own thing. Which is particularly nice to read when you've just spent a semester immersed in Browning and Tennyson. "SCREW YOU CONVENTIONS WHAT IF NOTHING IS CAPITALIZED AHAHAHAHA TAKE THAT." (...contemporary times have gone the opposite way)

People still read novels. They still attend plays. But poetry nowadays seems to have been forgotten as a form of entertainment, or even as an attempt at promoting one's own cultural edification (not contemporary poetry, anyway).

My own gut reaction when I think of poetry is that it's self-involved, overly emotive, irrelevant, and stupid. I didn't even dig deep for that. BUT. Is there any real basis for that opinion? Well, yes. Unfortunately, that opinion mainly comes from exposure to the poetry of teenagers, who're almost all writing like a combination of Poe and Byron but without the talent, or at the very least the requirement that their verses have some sort of structure.

How I see current poetry

Good poetry is so, so, so good. And we're still exposed to some of it through music. We can handle modern poetry in music. I wouldn't be an e.e. cummings fan if I hadn't had to perform "i carry your heart" by John Duke. Despite making fun of the Romantics and poets in general, poetry does fill a void in the arts that I would be CRESTFALLEN to see return (I'm assuming the last time it was there was the prehistoric era). I absolutely don't have the language to discuss why poetry can do the things it does, but it's more able than any other artistic form to capture a sentiment or an idea and fix it in your mind, using words with an at-times surgical precision. We need it.

So. What're some poems I love?

anyone lived in a pretty how town, e.e. cummings 
Sonnet XIV, Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
Ozymandias, P.B. Jelly 
A Nuptial Sleep, D.G. Rossetti 
At a Seaside Town in 1869, Thomas Hardy 
The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope 
La Belle Dame Sans Merci, John Keats 
Howl, Allen Ginsberg

It's Friday. I would like to read some new things. If you want to post the names of your favorite poems, I would be eternally delighted (or at the very least, delighted until 5 PM).


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