Do you think that the poetry market is dead? I mean for new poets?
The population of poetry readers are dwindling. Most people only opt for poetry books if written by a famous poet. Most publishing houses will not publish your poetry unless you're a big name. Their reason is purely business, they cannot make it sell! What do you think the reason is? Is the standard of poetry going down? Are the good old days (from the Classical to the Romantic to the Elliot'ian) gone?
Times have diffidently changed and this can be said for more than just poetry. I have a couple poems published, but they're in a book with about 50 or so other poems by unknown authors (meaning 'not famous'). I remember being so excited! Just the word 'published' sounded so sweet. After buying the book and receiving it in the mail I realized it wasn't what I had imagined. I'm not complaining that the experience wasn't good enough, but the book was not sold 'mainstream'. Basically, just me and all the other people who had poems published, bought the book for our own poems.
I don't read enough poetry to say whether the standard is going down, but I think it might be. It also might just be me, but I much prefer older poems.
The reason is, in my view, that many publishers are confused what does constitute great poetry. Poets ought to be judged on the quality of their poem and not on their attitudes towards people. A great poet despite his or her dubious political views, with the literary briliance, originality and literary inluence still will dominate the modernist movement in poetry such as Amiri Baraka or Ezra Pound. And yet for Baraka poetry has little value in and of itself. Despite his eloquence, he regards poetry as a message for racial propaganda. "Poems are bullshit," he wrote, unless they are "poems that kill." Those are words of a powerfu communicator but not of a poet. Once literature is turned into an instrument for sending out the correct message, literary standards become negotiable.
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