How Is This Poem Like…a Beer? a Dog? a Spirit? – guest blog post by Marj Hahne

Trish Hopkinson

Here’s a small heartbreak of mine: too many people, at least in America, are turned off by poetry. We practicing poets are sadly aware that, when we step up to a mic, when we publish our poems in magazines, anthologies, or self-authored books, our audience comprises mostly other poets.

I can’t say I blame the poetry naysayers for, well, naysaying. Many a child’s natural love of poetry is killed off in a high-school English class, and—yikes, I can’t be the only poet who thinks this—poetry readings aren’t fun. Enriching? Sure. Engaging? Sometimes. Inspiring? Occasionally. Fun? Nope.

To play this poetry-biz game with resilient agency, I had to admit and accept this: poetry isn’t relevant in most people’s lives. And if I don’t think a poetry reading is a good time out, why would a nonpoet? And why would a nonpoet consume poems-on-the-page if they don’t connect with poems-from-the-stage?

Uneasy with…

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