Thursday, 10 January 2013

Poetry and pop

There's a good post here, on Rob Mackenzie's Surroundings blog, about whether there's any correlation between tastes in poetry and tastes in popular music, and indeed whether we should expect there to be.

I have to admit that I've no real idea what answer I'd give. I started out by thinking that there probably was a fairly close relationship in my particular case, but the more I thought about it, the more I struggled to relate different musical genres to the many tribes of contemporary poetry. I mean, what about country? What would that equate to?

I think it's certainly true, though, that poets of my generation and younger (and probably quite a bit older, too) can't get away from thinking about poetry's relationship to popular music. You hear talk of Second Album Syndrome in the poetry world (Simon Turner even refers to it in the title of his excellent second collection), and I think it's probably quite common to think of collections as albums, which presumably makes a poem in a magazine or anthology a single, and a pamphlet an EP.

Is that a bad thing? I don't think so, but I wonder if poetry could benefit from cross-pollination with other artforms in other ways, too. Reviewing is an area that springs immediately to mind, but I'd be interested to know more.

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

I write poetry and songs. Collaborating on songs with other musicians is a great way to write poetry.

I wish more poets would drop their claim that lyrics and poetry are different. Lyrics and poetry are forms of verse, I like to say.