What poetry is supposed to be

I’m not one to judge the poetry of others too harshly. I know what I like, and I know when someone is wasting my time. And a capable poet who insists on complexity can waste as much of my time as an amateur who insists on vague sentimentality. For a long time, I have believed that poetry should be more accessible to be relevant to readers. Recently, I read an interview with a famous poet whose name escapes me. Instead of “accessible,” he preferred the term “hospitable.” And I think I can agree with that. Accessible could imply a dumbing down to satisfy certain tastes. Hospitable implies a welcome but not a compromise. You invite a guest into your home, but you don’t rearrange the furniture to please him.

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~ by ericedits on October 12, 2007.

One Response to “What poetry is supposed to be”

  1. when i think of this question, i often return to june jordan who reminds us that poetry is a medium for telling the truth. it is the inspiring and transitory non-fiction of life.

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