It is arguable that poetry certainly has been in a state of decline from the popularity it once possessed. Back in the 1700s, poets were respected and valued. Some wonderful poetry came out of that time period, as well as the 1800s. It was the way for writers to make a living, at one point in time. Can a poet make a living anymore? Perhaps by working another job during the day.
The introduction of the printing press, which led to the popularity of the novel, was the event which has bled the fame from poetry. People read novels all the time. Aspiring writers dream of writing the 'next great novel' not the next bestselling book of poetry. The New York Times Best Sellers list doesn't even list poetry as a category. It lists manga, paperback graphic novel and hardcover graphic novel. Not poetry.
Maybe I am the rarity who loves to read poetry. I would love to become a renowned poet. I look to the work of the Romantics for inspiration: Keats, Wordsworth, Shelley. They could command emotion. They could make a place come to life with their poems. The abstract could become concrete. Their poetry has been an inspiration for my own poems during the past few years.
One of the problems that I think people have with poetry is that it defies their logic. They want to read a line at a time, and then get confused when things don't seem to flow together. Yes, there are many poems where the poet intentionally makes the end of each line a stop. If you read poetry from many of the great poets of the past, this will not always be the case. Instead you read by following the punctuation to indicate the pauses, and the flow will follow naturally. My best advice is to read the poem aloud. It is a form of writing that is meant to be spoken and shared. A poem that seems bland in your mind could become vibrant simply by vocalizing it and adding inflection upon words and phrases.
The poem for today's entry was inspired by a poem of John Keats. I tried to imitate the same form he used in his poem. Try reading this poem, as well as the Keats poem I linked to above, both to yourself in your mind and then aloud. See if it makes a difference. I promise you it will be better when you say the words.
Thoughts Evoked by Keats’ Fears
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my dreams can come to fruition,
It gives me pause for a moment, that we
Shall never see my name’s publication.
The untold tales are forever lost
Leaving behind no trace of legacy,
No more time with loved ones is quite a cost,
To see them no more would be a tragedy.
To depart from this world having tasted,
But never fully enjoyed, the blissful effects
Of finding my one true love
Who completes my heart and soul.
Alone with these thoughts I sit and wonder