So you can read my books

Saturday, February 24, 2024



"The poetry of the earth is never dead."

- John Keats

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
- Robert Frost

"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought, and the thought has found words.”
  - Robert Frost

Has poetry become the slide rule of literature, of the arts?

The knee-jerk instinct is to strongly deny that assertion.  

But sadly wanting something to be true does not make it true.

In 1992, 17% of Americans had read ONE poem IN THE PRIOR YEAR. ONE IN A YEAR'S TIME.

In 2012, 6.7% had read ONE poem IN THE PAST YEAR.  6.7%!  ONE POEM!

Since 2002, the number of poetry readers has contracted 45% --  

the steepest decline in any literary genre.

Poetry is less popular than jazz, dance, and knitting.  

It only beats going to the opera by a slim percentage.

From 2004 to 2015 Google Searches for poetry have fallen faster than a brick kite.  

Today's Google Searches for poetry are only 20% of what they were ten years ago.

Our hearts want it to be otherwise, but the numbers say different.

Still, I read poetry daily for it sings to me as no other prose does and whispers my soul's thoughts:

I live alone, I look to die alone:
Yet sometimes, when a wind sighs through the sedge,
Ghosts of my buried years, and friends come back,

My heart goes sighing after swallows flown
On sometime summer's unreturning track. 

 - Christina Georgiana Rossetti


  1. It’ll come as no surprise that I adore opera. I do so appreciate your continued interest in my poetry. Thank you, Roland.

    1. My musical tastes are eclectic. There are snippets of some operas that appeal to me: like the overture to Wagner's Flying Dutchman:

      What did Mark Twain write? "Wagner's music is better than it sounds" :-)

  2. Replies
    1. That is why he is one of repeat characters in my novels! :-)

  3. Roland, I have enjoyed poetry but must admit, I have strayed away. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because I use the excuse that I can't find the time. I write poetry and enjoy reading others. Life is just absurdly busy presently. If you have not taken in Jim Morrison's work, check out Wilderness. It's a book of lost work of his. It pairs well with the album, American Prayer by the Doors after Morrison's passing.