The Death of Poetry greatly exaggerated


In theory, “Poetry has always been words on a page, open to anyone”, yet most people feel like it is not. Their experience of poetry came mainly from school and they are led to believe – we all know this is true! – that it is difficult and obscure. There is little public forum or discussion for poetry in mainstream discourse. This is not the case for novels or musicals. This is not the case in other countries.

from angrysampoetry blog

(…by the way,  the poet looking at you from the 500 Córdoba note is Rubén Darío )


Slamming Slam Poetry

I like traditional and literary poetry if it is not too self-conscious and cryptic.
I like song lyrics and other rhythmic forms of versification. I like dub poetry.

slam poet

But from what I have seen on the web exemplifying “Slam Poetry” I can’t enjoy it. It seems, at first, second and third glance to mainly be about self-aggrandizing, posturing, agitation and racial/ethnic/gender complaining. It is delivered with a lot of swagger and bombast but it seems weak on substance.  I like reading poetry and meditating on it in tranquility- and the best place I ever enjoyed poetry (Oxford Anthology) was living in an old bus in the Arizona wilderness for 6 months.  I don’t want to hear poetry in an atmosphere like an urban-issues council meeting at a comedy club. To hell with that – give me rarefied verse from 2 or 3 centuries ago in a quiet comfortable place.  Any day.

Embittered empowered women screeching about themselves and why they are ticked off gets old very fast. Not very DIVERSE, I might add..

Give me some wit, some transcendence and some subtlety please. You all go to the poetry slam – I’m staying here with the anthology. In a clean, well-lighted place.