A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with someone online about the state of poetry and they made this comment to me (and this is not the first person to make this comment to me) that it was all a bit like shouting out into the void.
I wasn't sure if this person meant the process of blogging, the act of trying to turn the poetry industry around or the very act of writing and sharing poetry itself.
Or just living for that matter.
I was speaking to my husband, a former labor rep, about it. He said there is always a group of people out there who would rather lament the state of things than to work to change the situation. I see this in many poets I know. I think they almost prefer their status as outsiders.
I was innocently reading the book How Not to Write a Novel by Mittelmark and Newman (actually a very good book, albeit very snarky) and came across this stinging sentiment: "Some people can do backflips, walk on their hands, or juggle flaming swords. Some people can even recite poetry in public without losing their dignity."
Ouch. Are we the unpopular, ridiculed kids of literature?
Sadly we are. Unless we stand up for poetry against the bullies out there. Unless we start networking like poet politicians to make friends with other intellectual disciplines.
Or you can choose what you have. And I feel many out there secretly get off on poetry's anemic cult status.
As they say, if you are looking for the right person in your life, become the right person in your life. Which is a paraphrase of Mahatma Gandhi who said "Become the change you want to see in the world."
Or as Deepak Chopra said, "In your own personal transformation is the transformation of the world."
For further reading: think outside the lament