Is poetry expendable?

One wonders if “poetry” at the turn of the 21st century isn’t perhaps expendable.
Do we really need it?
Or is “real” poetry to be found, as some people now argue, in hip-hop culture or the poetry slam?
Or perhaps in New Formalist attempts to restore the iambic pentameter or tetrameter to its former position?

–Marjorie Perloff, Differentials: Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy
U of Alabama Press, 2004

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6 thoughts on “Is poetry expendable?

  1. Need it for what? I don’t think it exists to fulfill some need, it is a joyous luxury, an unnecessary language arabesque, or maybe everything is poetry, all utterance, a game, a fandango, a childs skip for joy, not needed but a delight, and so forth,

  2. i THOUGHT THIS WAS TO BE PERHAPS SOME REAL AND MEANINGFUL WRITING TO BE DISPLAYED AND PROVIDE ENRICHED THOUGHT. THROUGH 15 PAGES i HAVE SEEN NOT THAT MUCH THAT INSPIRES. iT HAS BEEN MUCH ABOUT COMMERCAILISM AND VERY MUCH MORE ABOUT THE NARROW SITED INPUT OF THOSE WITH SOME PERSONAL AGENDA TO PROMOTE. THIS HAS BEEN VERY DISHEARTENING.

    • Hi Marcus.
      I wasn’t sure how to respond to your comments. I checked out your blog to better understand where you’re coming from and why you sound irritated. Your socially conscious poetry and your energetic social commentary show a real concern for making the world a better place. I appreciate your work. This blog does other things. Its main function is to accompany a radio program of contemporary and experimental poetry. I publish an occasional review of a book that addresses this kind of writing. There’s room for everybody, isn’t there?

      • Paul,
        What I commenting on was not so much directed to you personally. It was rather after identifying poetry as the item to be looked up,rather than finding inspiring words and interpretive works , I had to traverse 15 pages of more or less b.s.. I am not angry, I just call it the way it is. If it happens to be beautiful, I respond to it in kind as well. When people ask the question, How could a Bernie Maddof happen? All they need to do is go back to the Reagan administration and look at what the hell a “spin doctor” is.
        When the President of the United States institutes a program to spin lies and deny facts, Why the hell wouldn’t someone say if the President can do it and not be punished for it. Why can’t I? It is this thread of deceit and deception, that runs through American culture today. Vitually eeverything has a deceptive edge to it. Unless, of course, You’re reading 1markt’s blog.I just call it the way it is.
        Sincerely;
        Marcus T. Tolbert “aka” 1markt

  3. I think the attempt of the post is to get us all riled up. We love poetry! We will need to fight for it!
    Do we need poetry? Yes! Poetry is the 1st Amendment of the heart.
    If poetry dies- we as a society may be beyond hope. Big ideas but the question he keeps asking is what is Poetry’s future?

    We need to remember its origins, its purpose : words that express feelings in a story, in an image, or anyway the feeling leaps off the page and grabs another person in the way physical presence achieves.

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