Well goodness! Newsweek as seen fit, just as National Poetry Month was about to begin, to announce the possibility that poetry has completely and totally kicked the proverbial country bucket. Could this really be? If no one is reading poetry, can it still be a living thing? Apparently, the National Endowment for the Arts released a report titled Reading on the Rise. Sounds optimistic. But they mean fiction. Not poetry. Readership for poetry has declined to its lowest point in 16 years. Everybody is worried. Nobody knows what to do. I suggest doing nothing. Enjoy National Poetry Month because it’s kind of fun to see unpopular poets stand up and try to be famous. Read some popular poems if you haven’t already and just remember that poetry really is very hard to understand. I think that’s the key to the whole thing. It’s a huge pain to read. There’s all these words sometimes rhyming, sometimes not. I can never tell what the poet is talking about and I get annoyed. It’s not like Twilight at all. Although some really good poems do have vampires in them.
But then, perhaps a week later – maybe a year. I’ll be walking along looking for a good plate of hotwings, and I’ll stop and think to myself, ‘Oh right! That’s what that lady meant by that weird line in her poem. Very cool.’
That’s why I like poetry. It hits you when it hits you and that’s all that matters.
The painting is by poet/painter, Carl Spitzweg. It’s called The Poor Poet. It’s from 1835 and appears to show one of these poets taking the easy way out as he concocts a nearly indecipherable verse. That umbrella is either magically floating or it’s caught in some serious cobwebs.