Did poetry die?

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/29/opinion/eliot-waste-land-poetry.html

Of course, poetry isn’t literally dead. There have probably never been more practicing poets than there are today — graduates of M.F.A. programs working as professors in M.F.A. programs — and I wager that the gross domestic chapbook per capita rate is higher than ever. But the contemporary state of affairs is not exactly what one has in mind when one says that poetry is alive and well — as opposed to, say, on a luxe version of life support.

I’m hardly the first person to suggest that poetry is dead. But the autopsy reports have never been conclusive about the cause. From cultural conservatives we have heard that poetry died because, for political reasons, we stopped teaching the right kinds of poems, or teaching them the right way. (This was more or less the view of the critic Harold Bloom, who blamed what he called the “school of resentment” for the decline in aesthetic standards.)

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This leaves us in the somber position of Eliot’s speaker in “Ash-Wednesday,” whose “lost heart stiffens and rejoices/In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices,” mourning the absence of something he cannot name.

More on poetry

This leaves us in the somber position of Eliot’s speaker in “Ash-Wednesday,” whose “lost heart stiffens and rejoices/In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices,” mourning the absence of something he cannot name.

More on poetry

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