POETRY NEEDS HOOKS!
MUCH DISCUSSION has taken place in recent days– based on the firing of Danielle Rose by Barren Magazine— about the place of poetry in contemporary society.
Is anyone asking the question of HOW to best connect the poetic art with the general public?
At New Pop Lit we’ve tried to do it in a variety of ways. At our online site, by publishing what we consider the highest quality poetry we can find.
For our new print-zeens, we’ve sought high-quality poems that, for the most part, are also visual and concise. Poems which can be illustrated or used with designs in some way to make the reading experience more striking.
Then, also, there have been our experiments a few years ago with Fun Pop Poetry.
FUN POP POETRY
Fun Pop Poetry was a feature we ran for a number of months at one of our blogs. (Which was then later used for the uncompleted “All-Time American Writers Tournament”– yet another example that we’ve been experimenting with a number of things.)
The idea behind Fun Pop Poetry was understanding the roots of poetry lie in oral culture. Pre-literary. Poetic devices such as meter and rhyme were used to make recitations of the spoken word musical and memorable. Rhyme and other euphonic tricks are hooks that embed themselves in the poet’s– and the audience’s– brain.
EVEN Shakespeare’s work– the soliloquys in particular– though usually written in blank verse, has hooks all over the place: “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. . . .”
Which make them easy to remember and a joy to recite.
The idea of hooks in poetry is akin to hooks in pop songs. Which brings us to pop poetry.
New Pop Lit‘s Kathleen Marie Crane writes poetry with hooks which stay in your head– is in fact the master at it. For instance, “You Don’t Stand a Chance,” which she recorded for our Open Mic feature.
Or, this previously unpublished poem:
Grand Mackerel Spa and Resort 2
Pre-fab flab floating flotsam hotel pool
Blank faced guests spoon their morning gruel
Evening drunks form a fluorescent queue
Craft designer drinks served by a skeleton crew
Mirthless grins light dim empty faces
Labyrinth of vacant rooms with no human traces
Pint glasses clink with a hollow sound
Here’s to burning this fucking hotel to the ground!
How could anyone not remember that first line? (Or not have fun reciting it?)
Kath has written many other pop poems, some of which are at the aforementioned blog under the Fun Pop Poetry heading, under a pseudonym. We hope to someday collect those and many more from other poets who participated in that feature, into a zeen. If so, it will be colorful.