The true shame in a time like our own is how little emphasis is placed on the little things. Though I may be biased in its favor, poetry is given little to no attention in common society. Surprising, given how many people throughout history participate in its creation. Just as there are innumerable amounts of books, there is even more poems. A lifetime or more could be spent reading poems. But in our world, right now, only a few select people would be mentioned. Poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, maybe J.R.R. Tolkein, perhaps an Emily Dickinson, or Robert Frost. All great poets in their own right, but that’s only five poets. Upon looking up the list of poets on the Poetry Foundation website, there were 2.982 poets in the list. Most people could only name a small few.
But why is poetry so ignored? Books, magazines, and all sorts of literature still dominate our social spheres. Even “non-literature” mediums like movies and television contain some of the greatest writing in history. But in our society, one of literature’s greatest and oldest aspects has little to no influence. Poetry goes back to the days of Ancient Greece, evidenced by the works of Homer. In the days long gone, you could actually make a living being a poet. Now, that is almost unheard of. Only a genius could do it, and some aren’t even able to.
Perhaps our society is so dominated by other media that poetry is simply swept to the sidelines. And whenever poetry is brought up, a resounding groan and comments about how “boring” poetry is. The people of today are raised on other media, and most of their exposure to poetry is through children’s books and the only poet they really know is Shakespeare, which, honestly, can be rather boring. So when any child is brought into a conversation about poetry, their first thought will either go the childish side of poetry, or to the boring side of poetry. In their minds, poetry is not that interesting. Poetry wouldn’t be that interesting to me either if that’s all I was exposed to.
The part that’s sad is how beautiful poetry has the potential to be. Some of the rawest emotion ever portrayed lies between the lines of a poem. And no one will ever hear or see those words, because when someone suggests reading or watching anything, it will almost never be a poem. Being a poet myself, it’s disappointing. Poets will pour their heart and soul into a poem; their only escape is to express themselves with poetry. But what use is it to celebrate or cry out in pain if no one else can hear it? The brutal truth is that no one cares about poetry anymore. In my own life, I have only met a select few who honestly love poetry. And I believe poetry is something that should be loved, just as books receive their praises. Poetry deserves some place in the world, as this level of emotion deserves to be felt.