|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #11|
I have seen a few such attempts. None of the treatises incorporated any of the crucial issues I mentioned in Part I. They didn't address the demand side or even its non-existence. In essence, readers and audiences were treated like Schrödinger's cat. None could expand their definition of "bad" to include an endeavor with a zero percent track record in the last half century, even among its own practitioners.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #15|
Before we proceed, let me interject for the record that extolling the therapeutic effects of writing poems, which I acknowledge, does absolutely nothing to convince me of their aesthetic value.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #9|
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #12|
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #13|
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #18|
I could quibble about the numbers. Yes, there are more poets than ever before but that is a reflection of the growing population. There are also more geophagics, alchemists and cross-dressing janitors than ever before. That doesn't suggest that the pursuit is more popular. I estimate that the percentage of the worlds anglophones writing poetry today is about 1%, much less than it would have been centuries ago when poetry was "the only game in town", published in almost every magazine, newspaper and newsletter. Still, that 1% amounts to more than six million English language poets worldwide, almost two thirds of which will hail from North America.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #20|
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #25|
These dice won't roll.
¹ - Thus requiring authors to keep re-reading it from a book.
² - It was always thus. In every endeavor and at any point in history there are thousands of William McGonagalls for every William Shakespeare. Can we guess why an industry tied to providing degrees to poets might not be quick to acknowledge this fact?
³ -To be fair, as a "killer and filler" effort, "There are Sunflowers in Italy" might be better described as a great sentence rather than a great poem, but there you have it.
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