It is true that poetry decline now a days.Modern men have no time to ponder and stare. We still have our saddest thought but not our sweetest song. The so called hip-hop culture has completely destroyed our sentiment for our saddest thought; the fountain of our sweetest songs.It has turned our saddest thought into anger and anger into resentment and that is why it is difficult for a poet to make a living today.
There are thousands of people (if not more) out there who still love poetry - either reading it, writing it or both. Yet, they will not spend money to buy poetry books. They want them for free and autographed. And I can say that from my personal experience as I've published a number of poetry books.
They want poetry for free and that's sad because poetry is an important art form and a very creative one at that. We need poetry in our lives and it is disappointing that when it comes to poetry book sales that people just don't care...and as a result we poets do not get the recognition and the sales that we deserve to get. But I bet if some famous celebrity wrote a poetry book and released it that it would sell out like crazy just because that person is a celebrity.
That's what I hate most. I believe that poet were born and not created.Like you say some celebrity wrote some line of poems and people go crazy
I think the worst poetry is written by people who think being born a poet was the end of the story, and they had no need to put in the work of learning the craft or business side of it. As if money should just fall into their lap for being born special.
I makes me wonder how many paying markets you have actually submitted to in your quest to be a professional poet. How many degrees did you earn and university position do you apply for? How many readings have you held? How many collections have you released? How many people follow your poetry blog and subscribe to your mailing list?
I am a dilettante poet and still make the occasional nice sale (one just this week), being a working poet is... well, work.
Poets like artists in the past still make a good living. The Masters of art of the past had to do commissioned work before they could necessarily afford to do what they actually love to do though. I imagine that if one had the desire to become a poet for a living they could but they would have to follow this same path. Song writing is one of the most publicly recognized of these commissioned formats in America at the moment. You can also resort to setting up your own web site and then half of your time will be spent keeping up with the advertising that pays for your art. You may have to stump for current affairs which will make some of your work very time sensitive and possibly forgettable if the situation doesn't get enough general coverage or you cannot get your work in front of enough people in time to take advantage. You may have to make friends with people of note and work on building relationships with patrons of the art. They may ask you to do some rather silly things that you will have to acquiesce to if you wan t to continue in doing so. I love my poetry but admittedly, i have no stomach for any of these options which I am very much aware of which is why I am not a man who makes money per say off my poetry. I just come here and post it when I feel up to messing with building a hub to that effect.
Poetry has been in a similar position for a good 50 years. I have a shelf full of poetry but rarely read it online because the chaff to wheat ratio is too onerous.
I believe poets have had difficulty making a living since the birth of written poetry. Yet, in my opinion "poetry" at least the poetry "accepted" enough to be in anthology is part of a high brow acadamia that does not allow "beginniners" into its ranks. People with the education and training in are more readily recognized. Same with the visual arts. There are a few acceptions to the rules. Anyways, poetry is a love and a passion to a few of us, hip hop artists included, that are brave enough to try it and to read poetry that is not in anthology.
Some of the greatest surprises in my experience is the poet who just writes poetry because that is what they do. It is hard to judge quality of poetry or to categorize, even though acadamia has given many titles to do so. The beauty is following someone who may not call themselves a poet yet finds the value in writing poetry. Sometimes, the universe brings together voice and meter and all the rest into a perfect masterpiece. It is a joy to pick up one of these poems out of a thousand, and to feel that I was there when a poet has reached his highest level of skill.
Thank you for this discussion. Jamie
The problem with poetry is that you can't compose poem anytime you like it. You know it is some kind of spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling. You can write news,articles and essay whenever you like it provided that you have the stories and knowledge about it.This is not the case with poetry. I regarded poems as a divine inspiration,a fallen gift from heaven and that is why I treasured poetry so much. I don't really care much about making money with poem.But I want my poems and other poems to be read.The differences between the inspired poem and those not,can be known from the feeling and emotion we got it from reading it. Thanks
I'd rather not think of poetry as declining but poetry is a hidden treasure of reality, beauty and expressions from the heart. Poetry contains what is really on a person's mind and in a person's heart. It is not fabricated. If every hub here was poetry then a lot of it would be overlooked and and be of lesser value than it is. I will say that if poetry was written with rhythmic stanzas and that people could read it that way then it would be more interesting to read but today some poetry is written with longer and odd phrases that sort of take it out of the context of reading or reciting poetry with rhythm.
I also think it is the job of poets to reach out to an audience, not just flail around and demand attention.
Your best bet for making a living as a poet is to get an MFA or PhD and try to become a professor of creative writing at a college. Unfortunately, for those jobs there are about 100 applicants for every open position.
I thought poetry was about the love of words not the want of money.
The same could be said of any kind of writing. I don't see any reason not to want money too
If you measure it on a per word basis, my second highest earning piece is a poem.
I guess i picture poets as a whole different animal. Not poets like me, but real poets like say Maya Angelou. Yeah, we all need money. I guess rappers could be to blame. That is who were blaming for the downfall of poetry right?
Right. I guess today we were different poet.No other poet of great name in the past never write poem for money. Now we do. That is one reason of the passing away of our saddest thought and sweetest song as Shelley would have put it that way.
Why blame rappers when they are a genre of poet who get paid very well for what they do. You may not like the genre or their perspective that they stump for but it is an avenue of marketability.
I would like to add some helpful hints to poets who may want to try to make a few dollars. 1.) You must be prolific, have your hands in other pots, try writing an essay or information hub along the journey and the new information you learn may help writing a new poem. 2.) You must create a large amount of work. Unlike other types of writing only one out of many poems may make it out of a collection so have a large amount to choose from. 3.) Take a plunge into the world of poetry by doing research into the forms and terminology, listen to a lecture on Elizabeth Bishop. Try to find something out about the art that you love. 4.) Sell yourself and have faith in what you write. Let people know you are there, the more readers the better the chance of being read. 5.) Send you poems to poetry collections, be it magazines, anthologies, etc. etc. work it. Good luck.
Maybe because in the last ten years or so I have found a renewed love for reading poetry, I have found a new meaning for poetry, and have become a poet, that I do not see a decline in poetry. I see an ever growing appreciation and interest in poetry and I see many more contemporary poets coming along. I believe poetry will never lose its emotional impact on people. The deeply emotional poems I read now and the very passionate poets I know today, rival and compare to the great poets of the past.
by Genna Eastman 12 years ago
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by Victoria Stephens 9 years ago
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by Jennifer Arnett 4 years ago
Does anyone have any tips for beginning to write poetry?I haven't written very many poems in my life. It's just not something I'm good at, but I would like to get better. Thank you!
by Mike Pugh 4 years ago
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by Dizzy Barlow 4 years ago
I am hoping to receive a post from each poet on Hubpages so that I may read your work and follow you.Thanks,Surfeitt
by samboiam 13 years ago
I have recently started dabbling in poetry. I have found it to be quite therapeutic for me. I asked a fellow hubber who has some professional training in the area of poetry to critique my work and to give me an honest review.She has done so. In a nutshell she says my poems have honesty and passion...
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