Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Valentine's Day Bingo
February 24, 2024

The world of poetry is dying

April is the cruelest month and not because of the weather that switches from blissful seventy-degree heat to snowing and frigid cold. April is the cruelest month because it is the month that celebrates poetry or a dying art of human expression. Yes, poetry is dying. Christopher Ingraham posted a blog in 2015, “Poetry is going extinct, government data show,” in the Washington Post that detailed how few people read poetry. According to the article, in 1992, 17% of people, in a survey conducted by the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, had read poetry within the last 12 months. When the survey was conducted again in 2012, they found that only 6.7% of people had read poetry in the last 12 months. As society becomes faster-paced and there’s less time for patience, poetry becomes faded as it requires time to think and compose ideas about the work. In 2015, Brandon Griggs, a senior producer with CNN, stated in an article that poetry is dying because of how quiet it is compared to the rest of media. “Between TV, movies, music, video games, sports and the Internet — not to mention the fine arts — consumers are overwhelmed with content,” Griggs stated. “To cut through the clutter, our entertainments are becoming louder, edgier and flashier. That leaves little room for the quiet charms of poetry, which can demand close readings to be fully appreciated.” Poetry today has become lost in its course to capture the human experience. Whether that be writing a sonnet confessing a deeply held love for another, a requiem honoring the loss of something precious or an acrostic poem describing the process of fecal matter, poetry has become cast aside by a society, which has led to an even worse scenario. Poetry evolving in a commercialized product. This is seen from Griggs argument that poetry is alive when he talks about how poetry is everywhere as seen in birthday cards, ancient books and even music. Griggs quoted Juan Felipe Herrera, who was the new United States poet laureate in June 2015. The article states, “Herrera believes poetry, or ‘verbal art,’ as he calls it, is at the heart of almost all text, from chants and songs and sacred books to ads and greeting cards.” And it’s this evolution that is killing the heart of what poetry is, where poetry is turned into a commercialized product for ads and greeting cards. What we need to do is reclaim our poetry roots and seek out poems that aren’t written in birthday cards by ad companies, but written by the hearts and souls of people. What we need is poetry that recaptures what it’s like to be human.

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The world of poetry is dying