With change being a constant and poetry is a part of this constant, we have seen a significant change occurring in the poetry world. In India especially poetry was supposed to be dearest to the king and was his pride to have the best of all in Country. We later saw an exponential decline and now a slow but steady growth.
More than a few of this generation’s colorful lights found poetry first through performance, or come from communities where “spoken word” and “poetry” are not separate lanes. Other poets have shown a talent for building an audience in less embodied ways. A lot of this was against the embedded poetic culture.
While Poets a little older may whine at the networking and exposure, but their juniors respect the hustle, convinced that poems, with the right push, can “enter the jet stream of the ongoing national discourse.” They are onto something: A recent survey by the National Endowment for the Arts revealed that poetry readership doubled among 18-to-34-year-olds over the past five years.
Too narrowly experiential, too sentimental, too accessible, inadequate to the task of engaging with a postmodern, media-saturated culture—this was the verdict of a previous avant-garde that abandoned “the speaker” in favor of a recondite poetics that appealed to an ever more exclusive audience.
But the rising generation—while embracing avant-garde techniques (the use of radical disjunction, the potpourri of “high” and “low” cultural references)—hasn’t bought the message. Having come of age in the heyday of identity politics, the diverse poets now in the spotlight are reclaiming “the democratic ‘I,’ ” in the words of the poet Edward Hirsch.
But we still hope to gift poetry back its deserved reputation and find poetry as it is supposed to be i.e. a dagger in heart and a breathing soul in the body altogether.
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