Donald Hall writes, with some amount of skepticism, about the so-called "Death of Poetry." Edmund Wilson claimed that verse was a dying technique back in 1928, and pundits have been declaring poetry is dead for, oh, about the last thousand years. Yet somehow it keeps on being true that the previous generation of poets are classic-- the same poets whose work caused critics to say that poetry is "dead" a generation ago.
Hall calls these critics out. Poetry is as alive as ever before; maybe more so.
Death to the Death of Poetry
More than a thousand poetry books appear
in this country each year.
More people write poetry
in this country
--publish it, hear it,
than ever before.
Let us quickly and loudly proclaim
that no poet sells like Stephen King,
that poetry is not as popular
as professional wrestling,
and that fewer people attend poetry reading
in the United States than in Russia. Snore.
More people read poetry now
in the United States than ever did before.