Monday, 21 November 2011

Further Thoughts on Antipoetry

I've met quite a few young poets who claim to write 'poetry for people who don't like poetry' or admit to not being a fan of poetry themselves despite writing it (or attempting to). I'm tempted to say it's a male thing, purely because I've never heard a female poet make the same claim.

I don't expect any of you guys to be reading this (why would you?) but just in case you are, here's my advice: think about what you're saying. I'm sure you're already aware that 'poetry for people who don't like poetry' is a neat little paradox and in a way it sounds kind of clever. On closer examination, however, it makes absolutely no sense. What you're trying to say is that your work appeals to people with alternative taste, which also happens to be the case for many, many other writers who refer to their work as 'poetry'.

(I'd go as far as arguing everyone without exception likes poetry even if they claim not to. Anyone who's ever been moved by song lyrics officially likes poetry regardless of what they think of Wordsworth.)

As for poets who write poetry without actually reading any, how do you know you're any good? How do your supposedly poetry-hating admirers know how you measure up to the competition? And what are they doing reading poetry anyway? You really haven't thought this through.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant. The world is full of the hipper than thou, out to show than whom they're cooler, than whom they're edgier and more niche. The ones who actually are, of course, are too busy doin to worry how they look