Monday, February 27, 2012

A Need for More Poetry on the Web

I really wish more of my favorite poems were available online so that I could provide links and alert folks on twitter and facebook as well as those who read this blog about some really good works. But as it stands, the majority of the pieces I read are only available in volumes of poetry, print-based magazines, and anthologies. That's ok for me, I suppose, but it doesn't help spread the (online) word about the powerful and important work that so many poets are producing.

Last year, I provided links to over a hundred poems, and I'll likely link to about as many poems this year. My main source has been the Poetry Foundation site. The numbers of poems I link to seems like a lot, but it's small in comparison to all the  compelling poems that I actually read, which remain largely relegated to only the page. 

It's somewhat understandable why more poets don't make their poems available online. I guess. They likely  would not profit much if their poems were out there on the net and not in a context where they could give them financial gains. Maybe that's the thinking. It's also possible that having the poems on the page and not out there on the net adds some value, you think?

On the other hand, rap and rappers have benefited over the last years as a result of innovations in technology such as iTunes and youtube that have made it possible for audiences to gain easier access to the artists' works online. For some readers, volumes of poetry might in fact be harder to obtain these days, and so large numbers of poems remain tucked away, out of sight in books.
We certainly need to find some ways to work with poets, publishers, and those who have reliable poetry sites to see more poetry made available on the web.

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