Do you Read Poetry?

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Photo Credit: Alanah Leger

This post is by no means meant to be disrespectful. Just a question that I’ve been thinking about. See, I can tell you right now that I only read as much as I do because of WordPress. I couldn’t even tell you any prominent poets writing today. I mean, are there individuals who only write poetry as their job? I have no idea. I also wonder the same thing about short stories. Are there short story writers out there still? But that’s a question for a different day and post.

Every other article you read is about the changing landscape of publishing, right? I mean, we’ve all been told how difficult it is for publishers of any size to make money off their books. Hm. If publishers have a hard time making money off novels, then one would assume that it would be a whole lot more difficult to do so by publishing poetry collections.

I’m sitting here trying to think (without using Google) of poets who are writing right now and I honestly can’t come up with one. All the ones I know wrote in completely different eras. Wordsworth. Plath. Keats. Coleridge. Maybe I’m just out of the loop on this one? I don’t know. I’m not going to sit here and say that poetry is dying or anything like that, but could that really be happening? You tell me.

Do you read poetry outside of an academic setting? Perhaps a better worded question is whether or not you buy poetry collections that are traditionally published.

PS: I just tried to find some current poets and it was rather difficult. I could not find anything about poetry on HarperCollins’s website. And the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning collection has 9 reviews on Amazon. Tell me I’m wrong and I’m just not seeing the light here. Cause it seems to me that poetry may be disappearing.

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12 thoughts on “Do you Read Poetry?

  1. After reading this I immediately came up with a few poets who I knew before realising that I’d only got their names from an educational setting! Its quite an interesting question and such a shame because there are some really great ones out their who most people never get the opportunity to experience!

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  2. Me! I’m a poet! Kinda 😉 I have one small collection that is by far my worst-selling book. I already knew it would be a flop before I published, I just did so for myself. I’m sad more people are losing interest in poetry these days.

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  3. I enjoy reading poetry, but I don’t do it very often. My idea of reading poetry is gathering around with friends and taking turns reading passages. Nobody ever wants to do it with me though. 😀

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  4. Poetry isn’t disappearing, things change. There are many poets all over the net. It’s just a hard sell (not impossible) except to other Poets. Do it because you have to and because you love it! Maybe you’ll get attention someday. Hey, just do it for yourself. Just my opinions. Good luck and best wishes.

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  5. I don’t read modern poetry at all because I simply don’t like it. I love old poetry. My favorite poet, aside from Shakespeare and his amazing sonnets, is Rudyard Kipling (who also wrote The Jungle Book). I’m also a fan of Frost and Whitman and Dickinson. The modern poetry I was required to read in college completely turned me off. So if poetry is dying, I think it’s partially because of the changes in style.

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  6. I read poetry outside an academic setting. I have traditionally published books of poetry as well. I also find that I gravitate towards slam poetry 🙂

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  7. Outside of the academic reading, I would have to say no. Occasionally I come across good ones that I enjoy, but over-all, I prefer a good book over a book filled with poetry because most of the time, I don’t like most of the poetry and it becomes a turn off. My boyfriend loves slam poetry though; he isn’t much of a reader (bummers!).

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  8. Check out elsa holland’s page!! She writes such amazing poetry

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  9. Outside of academic readings, I don’t really do poetry. I own a collection by Serj Tankian, and I’ve read most of Poe’s work. Other than that… I’ve enjoyed poems I’ve read for school, but none of that is current, and outside of school it’s difficult to select poetry.

    A novel has a synopsis, an author becomes a brand. You know what to expect when you buy a new book. But poetry collections are complex, and tend to be emotionally charged. They’re more work to read, I think.

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  10. Pingback: October Continues the Trend | Write me a book, John!

  11. This is such a brave post to say the least, I have always wondered this but was too afraid to ask

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