On poetry and capitalism

I love writing poetry as much as I hate reading it. Other people’s that is. I don’t understand it, it confuses me and I don’t have the patience. I can count on one hand, the poems of the great poets that I truly like. This got me wondering whether this was specific to me, to poetry or to the arts.

There are countless examples of music superstars that never went to music school and business leaders that never went to business school. Fits in well with what some spiritual traditions (and these days self-help gurus) say about knowledge being something that is ‘realised’ versus ‘acquired’. It would appear then, that excellence in and passion for something is more about unlocking your natural abilities rather than seeking to build a skill set. I.e. inspiration should be sought within, not outside.

That is not to say that outside factors can’t inspire or help build talent, for they certainly can. It is just to say that inner inspiration seems to be the key ingredient, whether it is ignited by outside factors or already there on its own.

In that sense, poetry and capitalism share something profound in common – the encouragement of individual systems of inspiration and imagination. Though the success of the direction the two have taken could be considered to be up for debate. Capitlism has led to social and economic advancements as disruptive thoughts and ideas take firm shape in new products, tehcnologies and processes.

Poetry, on the other hand has gone from rhyming and syllable-counting to free verse which can be a disappointing attempt at moving out of the ‘prose’ section. To avoid igniting the fury of the individual thought system of the free verse poet, I should clarify that this is a highly subjective (and rather tongue-in-cheek) opinion. I quite like my poems to rhyme here and there. But that’s just my personal, individual view.


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