|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #52|
Producers say a poet is someone who shares that avocation. That is, at best, tautological and, at worst, presumptuous.
Prosody geeks assume we're talking about those who exhibit superb technique.
Performers think of their fellow YouTubers, slammers or open mikers.
People who read or listen to poetry don't exist.
On the rare occasions when the public speaks of contemporary poets, it is usually in reference to those who bring us popular song lyrics. For example, some might describe Elton John as a poet without knowing or caring that Bernie Taupin wrote the words to his tunes.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #156|
To be successful, one must appeal to all of these constituencies. A great poet would be a modern Shakespeare whose audiences appreciate themes that stir blood and brains in language that survives its utterance.
We don't have any of those.
In order to produce a great poet we would need, in place and in sufficient quantity and quality: education, performers, directors, critiquers, venues, networks and, above all, audiences.
We don't have any of those either.