We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Gioia writes: “I suspect one thing that hurt poetry was being too well taught.” While professing his admiration for them, Gioia blames the “New Critics” of the mid-20th century — “R.P. Blackmur, Allen Tate, Kenneth Burke, Cleanth Brooks, John Crowe Ransom, and Yvor Winters” — for inadvertently alienating the public by inspiring generations of teachers to treat poems as difficult texts to be deciphered like the Rosetta Stone, rather than as enjoyable scripts for oral performance. Poetry was less like dance or drama than like philology or philosophy.
Gioia writes: “I suspect one thing that hurt poetry was being too well taught.”
Yes, indeed. As a consequence of poetry analysis in Freshman English, I developed a hatred of poetry. Decades later, I tried speaking me some poetry. No more poetry hatred for me. But no more poetry analysis, either.
All that rhyming which modern poetry threw out as being antiquated sounds pretty good when you speak those rhyming verses.
I once recited the lyrics of some Spanish language songs- simple songs- before hearing them. Just by the way the words sounded, I correctly guessed the tune. Can't say you could do that for English, which is not as cantante as Spanish.
If you wanted to turn generations against literature, drama and poetry, one could do no better than mid to late 20th century high school and university English curriculum. A few taught the old way and inspired, but most followed the "professional" advice and ruined it for millions.
And worse, we let those people teach composition for which they are singularly unqualified.
Poetry is SOOO meant to be read aloud. It should sing. Back in the day, the poetry I studied did just that. But for our children, the new rules dictated that it should be - if not haiku (which most kids absolutely hate) - a rather pedestrian form of blank verse (what I used to call descriptive writing without any sentence structure) which the children also disliked heartily. Hand them verse with the much-despised (by academics) iambic pentameter,and they will rejoice and sing. After all, its beat mirrors the human heart.