on Writing Forward:
There was a time when poetry enjoyed mainstream popularity. People who read poetry weren’t unusual or lurking in some counterculture, hipster coffee house. Ordinary folks read poems, enjoyed poetry, and discussed poetic works.
These days, fiction takes center stage in the world of language arts. We love movies, TV shows, and video games, comic books, and novels. Fans gather online and at conventions to celebrate their favorite stories and characters. And poetry seems to have been relegated to the cultural backseat.
In Shakespeare’s time, entire plays were written in verse. Think about that: entire plays written in verse. Keep in mind that in those days, plays were the equivalent of movies and television (live-action entertainment). Imagine if the lines from films like Titanic, Star Wars, or Game of Thrones were delivered in rhyming verse, and you begin to get an idea of just how wide an audience poetry once reached.
Today, poetry is relegated to precious few; most people who read poetry also write it. The lack of interest in poetry is confounding. You would think that in a one-click world of instant gratification, poetry would be embraced. You would think that in a world where music propels such widespread fandom, poetry would be appreciated. And you would especially think that in the greater writing community, where words are currency, poetry would be celebrated.
But oddly, many writers dismiss poetry. Some say they don’t understand it. Others don’t have the patience for it. A few remark that there’s no money in poetry. The reasons that most writers don’t embrace poetry vary; but the lack of appreciation for the form is omnipresent.