Friday, September 10, 2010

Jim McCrary and Richard Lopez have both posted recently about poetry's inability to change the world. I say: screw that. Those posts (by two poets I like) pissed me off.

I'm tired of hearing about what poetry can't do. Poetry changes the world every day in molecular and larger ways that have cumulative impact over time. Poetry effects revolutions in perception every day somewhere in someone. It adds up and it means something, something always yet-to-be-determined. Reality is pretty fucking provisional, after all. But language is a not insignificant aspect of reality, of how reality is processed and determined, no? And poetry is a driver of language and the processing and creation of reality.

So, I say, speak not to me of your inability to imagine anything other than an impotent, unimportant poetry. Suck it up and do better work.


  1. thanks for noticeing, tom. and i do have this additional beef is with those who CALL for poetry in order to CHANGE the world...i.e. "end the war". and as usual because i am a poet who doesnt 'try harder' i left too much out of the post.