The poetry on poetry.org is often thought provoking as many of the authors provide a brief explanation” for their poem’s meaning. Poetry should be properly described after all, lest they be excused as imparsable abstractions.
I find that 99.9% of the poetry today is about finding the emotional reaction to “today” the here and now. And many of these species are found here. They report back on the experience of it, processing it , the invisible medium that’s “today” then hopefully putting such emotional metabolic stuff (into something) so it’s visible.
But if this is the collective unofficial plight of the new poets movement, I’m going to excuse myself from the room. It is losing sight of the art itself, so this is a wake up call to what that is. We’re speaking of the experience not of the poet, but of the art itself. How can art experience life? The synecdoche and conceit in the Sonnets is example. And I find this lost on scholarly (meaning they’re passionate enough at least about the subject) interpretations such as Booth, but if it was lost then, in the 70’s would I expect it to be found now? It’s not the number of citations, quoted its about whst in fact the speaker is or isnt saying. When the speaker becomes an inanimate thing an object, This is entering the “soul” of the art, this is as [the sculptor] envisioned, the awakening of his statue in the garden. That’s a different story . But there is a night and day difference between a character’s experience which is virtually unlimited, compared with experience of the “real world.”
When I’m envisioning what are equivalent of cartoon characters in the desert ..a coyote..and his friends, this is not in any way modern poetry, (the impression of it or sense I’ve gotten from literary mags,) but probably “flash fiction.”
First person experientiality appears to be the main source material for the modern poet. They want us to feel what it’s like to be them personally, and they expose us to the shocking pieces of reality that entails..the personal loss etc. (but more of it is really “shock” like many of the shows on TV, but is this really poetry? As human beings, we have all experienced these realities, some of them harsh, but are these, in and of themselves, art? The reaction as a poet however, is to magnify that meaning beyond its current state and explore it beyond here and now, these “mortal coils.” Because it has real unknown implications and can be explored. (Meaning that the unknown’ is actually a quantity with unlimited potential.) The avoidance of such a task, to a poet, is to feign poetry, and to avoid being human, to avoid imperfection and appeal to what is perceived as standards of perfection. And it seems the modern task put to artists is to act as though there is nothing left in reality to understand, and you must act like you know what you are doing at all times. The honest truth is that there is a universe that is waiting to be explored.
Regurgitating reality and experience is mere conformity with the prevailing cultural fads now dominating television and internet. Self interested self absorbed experientiality is limited in my opinion, (in its ability to explore that world beyond ‘the here’). And it reeks of conformity and homogeneity, these are anathema .. to what fiction is. A mockery of art form and art itself because it refuses to acknowledge its own elitism and ego that selfie-art is, and selfie poetry. A few references to war or someone dead, is all that’s needed to qualify? And time and time again this appears to be what the mainstream poetry pubs are searching for, and their anxiety of breaking with this mold is all the more apparent.