Friday, April 8, 2022

Modern Poetry Really is Rubbish

Last month, The Burkean pulled a wonderful prank on the publishers of Icarus, a prestigious poetry journal in Trinity College.

This story fills me with glee, but also with a certain relief. Since my teens, I've felt pretty sure that modern poetry (which mostly means free verse) is rubbish. I can't see anything in it at all.

But every now and again, doubts creep in. After all, so many modernistic poets seem very much in earnest, often enduring poverty, mental illness and even suicide as they grapple with their art.  (Of course, I have tremendous sympathy for the human aspect of this.) They seem to have so much to say about each others' works, as do literary critics. Am I simply missing something?

A story like this reassures me that, no, I am not missing anything. Modern poetry really is rubbish, a genuine case of the Emperor's New Clothes. 

And that means the revival of classic poetry, traditional poetry, proper poetry, really is an urgent cultural necessity. The need for this seems ever more imperative to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment