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Has the 21st century marked the death of poetry?

Think about it. Once upon a time, poetry was a very intrinsic part of literature. From urdu shayari to English poems, almost all languages on Earth used to boast of some memorable couplets and rhymes.

In Hinduism a lot many ancient or old prayers have been written in a poetic format. Hanuman Chalisa is an example. In the western world, Wordsworth was pretty famous for his lines. But today, if you ask me of some latest very famous poet, I would not know a name.

Publishers across the globe, are increasingly putting up a board on their submission guidelines that bans entry of poetry into their offices. They won't publish poetry.

I find that pretty strange. No more Mirza Ghalibs, No more poets like Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Mahadevi Varma, Robert Frost etc. Opportunities are dying for poets today. Not that the poets of yesteryear used to earn a lot. At least they enjoyed a level of fame. In today's world no one wants to be a poet. You can never make a living out of it, anyway.

I used to write poetry once. I feel poetry is one of the best mediums to express your feelings. A sense of beauty flows down with your thoughts. It is also a more powerful medium to give down a message if that is your purpose. Better than an essay or a speech I feel. That is why we just don't rant of pages and pages in front of God but sing a hymn or two to praise or to show devotion.

Poetry, over the years established groups of people. There were schools of poetry, several forms of poetry ( Now most people or hobbyists who write poems, usually just follow the rhyme code) like sonnets, Odes etc. I don't know whether ballads are also poems, but too are near extinct anyway.

Why exactly is that happening? Perhaps in the 21st century, we just don't have that serene, timeless calm. We are in too much hurry all the time, to notice the daffodils like maybe Wordsworth did. We no longer have that atmosphere of the past, where you could sit outdoors and listen to someone say a couplet or too. When patrons did meet a poet over tea or coffee and discuss the latest piece written. Now we have noisy pubs and even more noisy clubs or chaotic shopping malls for hangouts.

The good news is that hymns and lyrics are two formats of poetry that are still alive and thriving.


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