ERIC Number: ED199750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Poetry and the "Me" Generation: Democratizing the "Ars Poetica".
The art of poetry is being worn away by democracy, the rule of the average, and by an attitude of narcissism which equates sincere endeavor with significant endeavor. The opening lines of several poems taken from a poetry journal reveal a distinct lack of significant emotion. While poetry is the most significant expression of the Self, the "I" of poetry has become the literal "I" of the poet, not "I," the personna, thus reducing the universality of the poetic act. Contemporary poetry is more an exercise in sociology than in art: everyone has grown lyrical--the singing masses. The attitudes generating this poetry of democracy are as follows: (1) any act of a properly authentic Self is a significant act; (2) everything must do something, therefore poetry should have a purpose; and (3) for every properly motivated and moneyed Self, everything--including the ability to write poetry--should be accessible. The government has played a role in the democratization of poetry by funding such programs as Poetry in the Schools, to make poetry "fun" and "accessible." Poetry is hard work. It is neither fun nor easy. What is needed is fewer people writing poetry, not more. American marketing has also reduced poetry to the lowest common denominator, by offering noon-hour poetry workshops in local shopping malls. This is the current state of the art for which John Keats spilled out his life. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Keats (John); Poetry in the Schools
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Popular Culture Association in the South (9th, Winston-Salem, NC, October 16-18, 1980).