In your opinion, why do some people “hate” poetry, or simply misunderstand its “power?”
There is no simple reason. First, as I said earlier many people have had bad experiences in elementary school where teachers did not use poetry in good ways but insisted that students memorize poems that the teachers thought they should. In my cause it really was every blanket blank line of Evangeline. Also, a lot of poetry in the last decades has come to glory in its inaccessibility. The retreat to the academy has often meant that some poets pride themselves on writing poetry that no one can connect with. As poets and poetry gets more disconnected from the real lives of 90% of the people, it becomes more remote and more abstracted. So many people feel it is “not for me.” As well of course we have the celebritization, if there is such a word, of our culture and the impact of the market forces. This cycle becomes a self-reinforcing reality. Poetry doesn’t make money. So no one promotes it. So poets revel in their inaccessibility. So poetry makes less money. So it is promoted even less. One has to wonder when commercial inauthentic “wrestling” performances can make the promoters into millionaires (and perhaps into senators) and poets cannot eke out a living. That says as much about the society and the forces at work in its culture as it does about poetry.
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