June 2nd, 2006

Egrets Reading

Animosity toward poetry?

A friend's blog has an entry on it about what is perceived to be an almost institutionalized animosity toward poetry in the sf/fantasy field.

However, I think it goes further than that. I think the animosity is real, but it goes beyond the sf/fantasy field.

It's odd, actually, that I've met poets who like science fiction and like poetry but don't "get" science fiction poetry. In one case, a person I met over the weekend told me that a poem just doesn't have enough room to develop a science fiction idea in it.

I, of course, disagree, since I regularly write sf ideas in less than 17 syllables, but I digress.

A haiku poet that I know LOVES science fiction but is very resistant to scifaiku, which is odd, since he writes great haiku & I think his scifaiku would be out-of-this-world, if he'd ever be game to try it.

But, beyond sf/fantasy, there are hints of anti-poetry sentiment everywhere. Sometimes it's as simple as being in a coffee house looking for an advertised poetry reading and having a regular come in and tell me the exact time of the reading, which he knew not because he wanted to be there for it, but because he wanted to make sure he sat on the other side of the coffee house during those times because, as he told me, "I hate poetry!"

Women's Magazines used to publish poetry. They don't anymore.

An English teacher in a high school told me she never reads poetry and really hates to have to teach it.

Another English teacher I met on a hike also expressed a similar view, especially towards haiku.

Why do you think this is?