Posted by Chrissy Montelli, Poetry Editor for 3.2, Contributor for 3.1, & Reader for 2.1
It seems like every three months or so, I find a new article that declares poetry is dead—or at least questions how long it will take for poetry to die. The Washington Post did so two years ago. Newsweek did the same ten years before that. Heck, Thomas Love Peacock claimed poetry was dead in “The Four Ages of Poetry” all the way back in 1829! It doesn’t really make sense to me, especially since the majority of people who shout from rooftops about poetry’s death rarely explain why poetry is supposedly dead, except “nobody reads it anymore.” But with every declaration of the “death of poetry,” hundreds of poets fly in to defend the genre and prove the naysayers wrong. By 1989, poetry had been declared dead so many times that Donald Hall called for “death to the death of poetry”—and it’s been sixteen years since then, with more and more declarations each year. There are so many people on both sides of the argument that poetry might as well be characterized as the Schrödinger’s cat of the literary world.
Our solution, then, is to open the box. Continue reading