Friday, 6 February 2015

Poetry, You Have One Last Chance!

In many ways I feel somewhat foolish writing this. Not long ago I was happily harping away about the heady heights of ethical hedonism and why it does not require us to sacrifice intellectual pursuits. Now having been recently reminded of poetry, I'm beginning to have second thoughts.

Whenever I read an essay and see vagueness in the concepts being employed, my philosophical training assumes the worst. For the most part of my intellectual growth I have considered vagueness to be the antithesis of carefulness; it was drilled into me by lecturers and tutors alike that the only time you write vaguely is when you are talking nonsense.

Why am I telling you this? Because I'm trying to figure out exactly what it is about poetry that I don't get and I'm trying to provide poetry with a face-saving answer because the alternative isn't that nice. If I'm brutally honest, I just don't see the point in poetry. If you want to write with hidden meanings then go join MI6 because your fascination is with espionage, not art. 

The real irony here is that I love minimalism and poetry is supposed to be the monarch of the minimal. Unfortunatly I find that poetry, due to its coy attempts at brevity, often ends up achieving the very opposite effect of minimalism. Instead of saying what needs to be said simply it says what it wants to say shortly and in turn becomes obscurantist, defeating the whole point of minimalism which is to cut through pomp.


I generally intend to approach most activities with the attitude that if someone else can enjoy X then so can I.  

 Accordingly, and in corroboration with my previous resolutions regarding the expansion of my cultural vistas, I will spend some more time reading poetry. I will dutifully force myself to explore the possibility of finding joy in a hitherto un-tapped pleasure and succesfully disrupt the treadmill.

Hopefully with some discipline and effort I will break through to the other side where I can love poetry, care for it or at least think it worthwhile. Maybe Stockholm syndrome will win out or maybe I'll be left in the cold wondering why everyone keeps changing the line they are on mid-word....

Poetry is a dying medium, so far I have been staunchly in favour of putting it out of its misery by shooting it in the face with a cannon filled with manure... it has one last chance to convince me otherwise.

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