My thanks to William Logan for his article in the New York Times Sunday, June 14 review entitled “Poetry: Who Needs It?” and to Philip Theibert for sharing it with me. Philip was part of the gang of poets who presented during the IRA Poetry Olio.
Logan’s article is wittily done and gives poets and poetry lovers much to ponder. I recommend that you read it if you haven’t already done so. Here’s the link.
There are several quotable quips in the piece but one that I especially like is the closing remark: “Poetry is what language can do alone.”
I frequently exchange notes with poets who feel frustrated by their efforts to find a public audience for their work. It is not an easy task and never has been. As Logan puts it, “Poetry has long been a major art with a minor audience.”
So what do we do? Stop writing our poems? I guess most of us will keep on keeping on. If we don’t, something remarkable and beautiful about our language will die.