Poetry: no venue necessary

See this video by The New York Times.


Poetry is no longer confined to the printed page. It has expanded beyond a relationship between a writer and a reader; now poetry is also between a speaker and a listener. I often limit poetry to the prior relationship and underestimate its presence in our everyday lives, but a report on The New York Times once again reminded me that poetry is evolving and present.

The report was on a new movement called: “poetry: no venue necessary.” This movement extends the concept of spoken word. Instead of professional poets reading poetry aloud for performance or competitions, poetry now is being read aloud by ordinary people in ordinary places, like a subway station. Though this may be reminiscent of musicians performing in the streets, there is something different about this movement. The people partaking in “poetry: no venue necessary” are not poets by living, but people with the simple desire to fill the long silences of subway rides with poetry. This movement continues to expand; it has been witnessed even in self-service laundries.

The evolution of poetic expression is intriguing: from the courts of palaces, to the educated class, to school classrooms, and now to the streets. Poetry is becoming more and more available to the people. Poetry used to be available only to the educated. Once education expanded, poetry was (in a sense) confined to the classroom. Now, even that barrier was shattered with spoken word and public poetry reading. Some may claim they do not have time to sit and read poetry. So, poets respond in kind by reading the poetry to them while they do the mundane things of life, such as taking the subway home from a long day of work or even doing laundry.  


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