|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #26|
"Sales figures reflect this; only around £13 of the £2436 million pounds revenue from 2004 book sales was generated by poetry."
Not only is fiction outselling poetry 200 to 1 but most of those poetry sales are of classical verse. The number of poetry readers--most of whom read far more prose than poetry--is also dropping. From "Newsweek" via "The Daily Beast":
"Yet according to the NEA report, in 2008, just 8.3 percent of adults had read any poetry in the preceding 12 months. That figure was 12.1 percent in 2002, and in 1992, it was 17.1 percent, meaning the number of people reading poetry has decreased by approximately half over the past 16 years."
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #32|
With the advent of various modern forms of mass communication everyone predicted the demise of literature. Why read poetry when you can listen to [verse set to] music on the radio? Later, the question arose: why read novels when you can wait for the movie to come out or watch television instead? Later still, would Internet options, including social network banter, replace novels? In an instant gratification generation with no attention span, would consumers be willing to invest hours into any endeavor?
As we know, the Cassandras were right about poetry (i.e. music on the radio did replace verse), wrong regarding fiction. Not only did the novel not perish at the hands of audiovisuals, it thrived! Why so? How so?
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #20|
- it must be a performance, not a reading; and,
- it is ass-backwards: live, film or theatrical production comes before any expectation of profitable text publication.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #31|
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #21|
Poetry isn't about audience; it's about audience participation.
* The notion that anyone other than the author would want to perform a contemporary poem seems utterly foreign to today's poets. As long as this is the case there is no hope for poetry's reanimation.