Poetry is the most ancient form of writing and is really the basis for the whole contemporary music industry, given that lyrics are poetry and are critical to a song’s reception. Hip-Hop and Rap are highly language based and poetic forms of expression.
I believe these myths are as follows:
1. That poetry is boring. Admittedly some poetry is overly long, too obscure and pretentious. But much poetry, even by the poets of long ago, is engaging and really looks at the many and varied ways in which humans live their lives and experience the world and each other. What could be more interesting? I believe that once you start reading it you begin to appreciate its beauty and value.
2. That poetry is not understandable. Poetry is based on ideas and images that cause you to think and feel. It is not like reading a newspaper or a novel; you have to bring much of yourself to it. It often takes reflection and allowing yourself to see what the poet is wanting you to see. This takes time and in our fast pace lifestyle this reflective time is often missing. Also, we tend to read now quite literally, compared with years gone by, so that the image-based language in poetry can appear to be allusive.
But allowing yourself to be caught up in the images and in the grand ideas of poetry is a sublime experience worth having.
3. That the poet is dead. You could make a case that poetry as a formal kind of literature has gone into obscurity. But since poetry exists everywhere, in songs, in advertising and in works of fiction, it is hardly dead.
I would like to see poetry resurrected and made cool again. There needs to be a passion for it again among people of all walks of life, including young people, not only in reading it but in being poets ourselves. The new online generations and communities may afford this.