Monday, June 14, 2010

Poetry is not dead

I'm happy to announce that Echo Ink Review will soon be accepting poetry! We're still working out the details, and once we figure out the logistics, we'll let everyone know. So start working on some poems and send them our way!

To celebrate, this week the blog is all about poetry. All of the posts will deal with poetry in some way. Now we've all heard that poetry is "dead" and that people are not interested in it anymore. Recently, I've spent a lot of time wondering why that is. Given our ever shortening attention span and our love of twitter and texting, one would think that poetry would be rising in popularity. After all, concise communication is a basic tenet of poetry. So what is about about poetry that scares people away?

About a week ago, I had to get some blood drawn, and the phlebotomist asked what kind of work I did. When I told him I was a writer he said something interesting. He told me he wrote poetry, but didn't read it. When I asked him why, he said it was because he didn't understand it. So here's someone with an obvious interest in poetry but isn't reading it because it's not accessible to him. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard a version of this comment. If this is true, then poetry suffers from a problem of perception. There's a market, but because people think they won't understand it, they won't read it.

So what do we do? Well, talking about it is a step. So much wonderful poetry is out right now. Tell your friends about poets you love. Tell them that poetry is not dead, that it's not just for the elite. Good poetry speaks to the part of us that is the most human. Those moments and emotions that transcend race, gender nationality and any other artificial barrier we construct. And it does all of that with as few words as possible.

Poetry has the power to unify, to inspire, to reach out to people and let them know they are not alone. It doesn't take a degree to understand this. It just takes opening your heart and your ears.

Let's start talking about poetry. Let's find those poets who speak to our souls and celebrate them. Tell our friends and neighbors about them. Who knows, we might just start a revolution.

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