What makes poetry relevant?

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

In his New Republic article, Adam Kirsch agrees–and disagrees–with Jeremy Paxman on the relevancy of poetry.

It raised some questions in my mind that I would LOVE to get a discussion going on.

  • What makes poetry “relevant”?
  • What does “relevancy” mean?  Popular?  Important?  Applicable?
  • Must poetry be “accessible” to be relevant?  To whom?
  • Should the poet write to the average reading level or attention span in order to be relevant?
  • Must poetry appeal to the masses (be commercial) to be relevant?
  • What elements of poetry exactly does relevancy involve?
  • Is it possible to have universal relevancy?  Is relevancy relative?
  • Do the universal themes feel relevant or must the subject be current political and social trends/philosophies?
  • Does relevance involve technique as well as topic?
  • Must one adopt current popular styles (such as slam or rap) to be relevant?  Does employment of traditional styles (sonnet, epic) increase irrelevancy?
  • Should the poet really be concerned with relevancy?



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