From my own observations of my age group, I’ve seen almost no poetry books. I can honestly say that such books are rarely in my bag, and I claim myself a poet. I cannot think of a greater tragedy than the shunning of poetry by the young population. Most high school students wouldn’t dare venture past their textbooks and into the tiny section of poetry in the bookstore. Most don’t dare go past the beautiful faces described in romance novels, or listen to the quiet beauty of a well written verse that is muffled by written gunfire. I myself have often indulged in the alluring mist of blunt fiction, and have trouble squeezing between the lines of poetry and looking beyond the written word. The sophisticated language can leave me feeling barbaric and simple, and I question my self-given title of poet. But, I believe our lack of sophistication in language is not the only issue. What about the language they teach in school, or the language they use in the poems themselves. One of them has to give and become more efficient. Teach us the vocabulary of the sophisticated. Use simpler words that will invite us instead of scaring us away. Maybe this year, someone will pick up a book of poetry and find something tantalizing and sexy, charming, disgusting, simple and soothing. All of which poetry has always been.
Don't Let the Poetry Die
August 9, 2010