Here’s another question that I’d love to get some responses on. I’ve been thinking a bit of late (between classes, walking to work, in the passenger seat of the car etc) I’ve been thinking about what it is we actually do with poetry, as individuals (and also as a society)?
What is it for? What do we do with it? With a single poem, with a collection of them? What more than read them? Are poetry books lent, sold on, donated, cut up? Are they inspiration, starting points for our own work? Do they have overt political uses? Do you quote lines to make a point? What can we actually do with ink on paper? Or words on the screen?
And how often do we share them – and if our friends and family are not interested in poetry – would we show a co-worker a poem and say, ‘you’ll like this’ the same way we might a song or a band? Or a film? Poetry still seems to be in the private sphere somewhat, or at least, when it is consumed, anyway.
Certainly it feeds my mind, and lifts me. But poetry is also something that I have as one of the parts of my identity. I probably use it a little like a badge, and without shouting from the rooftops ‘I’m a poet, damn it!’ I will mention it if asked. So one of the things I do with it, is maintain an identity.
So how about you?