Death of Poetry
(…and its implications, thereof)
Societal progress in our world is measured in terms of techno-excellence. It is the advancement of our technological performance, perhaps our preoccupation with it,
who many believe, is a prerequisite for our desire of a higher standard of living for our masses. But like many societies of the past, the growing affluence of the masses does not curb societies’ desire for aesthetics but rather heightens their senses to new vistas, new awareness, and a surge towards creativity. This was true before the Renaissance with its single-dimension portrayals, and later on in the post-Renaissance period when realism hit the scene and further stretched it to abstractionism and to Picasso’s cubism.
The spoken word, too, remained parallel with the visual senses, awakening to the words of Byron and Keats, Emerson and Blake, Woodworth and Dickinson. But here too, as society became more modernistic it imposed its will so that the structure of poetry, written in precise syllabus and rhyme, now opened its arms to free-flowing words.
In today’s world, we acknowledge the changes that have, and are occurring in the pleasuring of our senses. We acknowledge the changes, however grudgingly, but we have never abstained from partaking in its pleasures. Our fixation with the hi-tech world of computers and the sciences cannot, or should not, deprive the evolvement of our inner-self, which most of us crave; albeit some of us more than others.
We are engulfed in discussions on the virtues of cloning better human beings, but shouldn’t “better” reflect the evolution of both our physical and mental state? If we ignore the passion for the written word, aren’t we creating a society of mechanical beings that do not require a heart? Do we even need to have children? We can learn to love our mechanical geniuses, our robots that can communicate with us in correctly constructed grammatical sentences but have no power to pacify the savage beast that sometime lurks in our hearts.
As Blake would have stated, it is the poet that hones our appreciation of the “words” to sweeter delights. Or as I would like to state:
in assorted puzzles,
with godly senses
creating soothing or
before being summoned,
to a rendezvous
with the righteousness
of the rhyme.
It may be a bit presumptuous and rather arrogant of poets to assert godliness to their work, but their effort at creating soothing or tempestuous lyrics cannot be ignored. It breathes life in an otherwise dormant, robot-like society; it creates a soul to transcend the physical pleasures to glories of the heart. By depriving students of the joys of poetry is tantamount to raising a futuristic society without one aspect of the fuel that nourishes its heart, and that under any circumstances would be a heavy price to pay, i.e., creating a society surviving with partially evolved hearts.
Imagine the medical dilemma that would cause!