|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #85|
Poetry is dead.
That being the case, who benefits? Who is going to be warned off reading the tome? It's like telling a claustrophobic person to avoid small spaces.
If history is a guide, most poets won't produce a single great poem in their lives. Precious few have authored more than a handful of such masterpieces and those may be stretched across different collections. In the last few decades no poet or poem has achieved the most basic, practical success: finding, satisfying, and surviving within a significant audience.
Parenthetically, in the absence of a market, positive reviews are equally pointless. Worse, blurbing our buddies' mediocrities undermines our own integrity and that of the entire process. Nevertheless, many cling to the notion that such cheerleading is good for poetry in general. More on this in Part II.
Given that all contemporary poetry fails, it is selective overkill to review it individually. As chagrined as I am by what is being published today, I avoid singling out examples because I don't have an adequate response to the inevitable question:
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Earl Gray, Esquirrel