By Karen Kenyon
“We are hungry for the secret news about life,” said former poet laureate, the late Stanley Kunitz. He was speaking of the news that poetry delivers.
Most Americans just don’t get this deep soulful daily news.
We don’t know the names of our great poets.
We don’t pay our great poets much (the majority of poetry anthologies pay in copies — most very accomplished poets teach at universities or other schools, in order to survive). Poets’ paychecks are either nil or less than even an outfielder in a minor minor league. Even our Poet Laureates are only given a stipend of $35,000. They are not household names.
Thousands don’t fill a stadium to hear a poet here in America — unless that poet is also a musician — say, Dylan or John Lennon. It’s a different story in many other countries.
The poets often speak, or spoke, for the people. [Read more…]