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Boston Globe Article

January 10, 2006

brilliant commentary from Maxine Chernoff in response to the Boston Globe Article on the state of poetry today:
(via the Buffalo Poetics List) :

Why does the POETRY MAGAZINE announcement about spreading poetry leave me with a sinking feeling, as if I’d just read that Bush and co. had decided to invade another country to spread democracy?

One might also argue that money might be used to teach poetry in more schools and even, gasp!!, universities, where a majority of people first read poetry. If you imagine that university professors and teachers are at fault for making poetry difficult or inscrutable or less popular than you imagine it should be, I ask you to search your memory for a time when a teacher actually taught you something, even about poetry, maybe? I would guess that most people who think well of poetry haven’t been poisoned by teachers or become victims of the conspiracy that keeps poetry from “the people.” And if you imagine that POETRY magazine and its minions are going to to do more good than the thousands of well-intentioned and even excellent teachers in the world and programs already in existence like Poetry in the Schools, Teachers and Writers Collective, just to name a few, you’re probably wrong. WHile I’ve heard many people in life who aren’t even poets praising their teachers, I have yet to hear many people say that their experience reading Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, has changed their lives. One might also ask why big money and conservative power want to work in the poetry field. I’m not that fond of missionaries, for instance, for the good work they do in the field. I trust them less than teachers.

-Maxine Chernoff

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