the best ones hang on like cockroaches

The Toronto Quarterly: Why should citizens of the world who are more likely addicted to reality television and more concerned about twittering details of their daily routines instead take poets of today seriously and read their books?

Jacob McArthur Mooney: I'm not sure if the two sets of pursuits are mutually exclusive. Twittering, though not something I'm really into, is basically formal poetry--it's concerned with the constraining of language into some sort of expressive essence. And "daily life" has been a key vein of poetic inspiration for as long as there's been the anecdotal lyric...

People are welcome to care about poetry, or not. It's always going to be there. It can be marginalized, surely, but it can't be killed. And there's nothing wrong with it being a minority entertainment. If there was ever a new poem with popularity equal in magnitude and pattern to, say, the popularity of "Jersey Shore", I can be pretty certain that that poem wouldn't be very good. The best ones hang on like cockroaches, clicking away at the periphery of the culture, for as long as the culture itself survives. The rest get flushed down the toilet...

- The Toronto Quarterly interviews Jacob McArthur Mooney. You can read the whole thing here.

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