Friday, March 05, 2010

What / we're up / against in Australia

"The essential issue of why poetry is not being read is that it has morphed into the almost exclusive province of small presses.

What is killing poetry as a literary form are the lethal mix of vanity publishing, the uncritical gushing of blogger-poets and narcissism.

There is no shortage of poets, but there is a shortage of readers who bother.

The reason is that the tat that masquerades as poetry is emotionally, spiritually and intellectually inept. This is why it is imperative that children are taught quality poems with passion and insight. They then have some kind of basis to judge what is dross and what is distilled from experience and worthy to pursue.

They need to know what assonance, alliteration and onomatopoeia are and what the differences between a haiku, tanka, syllable cinquains, a sonnet a ballad and blank verse."

Christopher Bantick, who teaches at Trinity Grammar in Melbourne, prattling on ungrammatically in a piece entitled Poets must go back to school, published in this month's The Australian Literary Review, a monthly liftout in Rupert Murdoch's The Australian newspaper

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