The Poetic Truth

How exciting it must be for you, dear readers, to see that I am opening this blog with some statistics: poetry sales in the UK amount to less than 2 per cent of the market. If you take out the “dead poets”, the genius of rhyming comedy, Pam Ayres  and the anthologies such as “A Thousand Poems about Cats”, you are left with very little indeed. The marketeering literatti place the average reader of poetry in the over fifty age bracket. My revolutionary scheme to provide a book of poetry with every new pair of spectacles has so far not yet been approved by parliament. Opponents suggest that this would deter people from attending eye tests.

Now, far greater minds than mine receive money to write about all this, bemoaning attention spans, social media and “uncultured” education in schools. Of course, some of this might be true but there could be other reasons. This is my list:

Visibility. Out of sight is out of mind. In my youth I used to race bicycles. Once a rider gets away and round a bend and disappears it does not matter how hard you try. That thread of awareness has snapped. Once a generation loses contact with an element of culture it has no continuance. Country dancing, croquet, smallpox and the eating of rabbits ( in the UK) have all gone that way.

Now, I hear you say – you promised a nice juicy list. Well, just be grateful that I keep my lists short. VISIBILITY is the entire issue. No one will like every poet. Having rubbed shoulders with some real “up the backside” airy fairy poets I can report that I have not liked many of them. My favourite poet is an Indie like me.  Poetry has machine gunned itself in the feet and both legs with its inaccessible elitism. Dear old Pam Ayres, Benny Hill and popular music composers have kept the comatosed patient alive in the public mind. Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond et al have done more to keep the concept of poetry alive than any poet laureate. We poets must remember that this is a world where in many households either a stereo playing music or a TV playing across 300 channels occupies the whole environment while anyone is awake. It has been a revolution that the “Greats” could not have shouted down. OK Mr Tennyson – your friend died and you wrote a poem – so what? There’s been 4 murders and a car crash since lunch time on channel 18 and no one is writing a soppy poem about that!”

My own view is that poets have still got the guns. They have the ristretto fix in the internet café. The new media of music and video mix is there to be taken. Folks may never again sit under the summer boughs with a book of verse. They will pick up a phrase or an idea if it is delivered to their antennae and we fellow poet citizens of that same world put it there for them.

And the point is…
My poetry collection “I Threw a Stone” is FREE on Amazon this weekend, Sat 28th and Sun 29th January. It is available in Kindle format and has an active table of contents (so you can skip between poems). It also includes a link to a FREE MP3 audiobook – with all the poems read by me.  This can be played on your Kindle too – so you can read or just sit back and listen.  For a sample click here.

Roll up, roll up get your free poetry here……
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Watch the video trailer for ‘I threw a stone’


11 thoughts on “The Poetic Truth

  1. And I can attest that your “I Threw A Stone” is the most thrilling, wonderful book of poetry I’ve read in my entire life!! Since getting it, I’ve spent many a joyful hour reading those fabulous poems while listening to the accompanying mp3 track. It’s an amazing thrill no one with half a brain could soon forget!

    You are entirely right, of course, it comes down to visibility. We’re in a new age, as you’ve so correctly pointed out, so I’ve turned my attention to making art that will be “visible” to the new crowd. Thanks to you, I’m tinkering with a few ideas, making notes, and will soon embark on a serious effort to get the “collecteds” out there. See how wonderful you are? You’ve sparked something in me that I’m afraid won’t ever be willingly corralled again!

    By the way, people download 574 of my books on my giveaway weekend and I felt like I’d won the lottery. Didn’t make a dime on those, but “visibility” has certainly increased, along with name recognition and visits to my blog. Loving this process! It’s a lot of work, but fun for me since I don’t have the pesky day job to attend to anymore. Poets arise!! We’ll get back in the game by hook or by crook!!

  2. It pains me too that poetry holds so little interest for most people. Poetry sets a mood, one that focuses you inward to wonder and reflect. I don’t think poetry is the real problem. Rather I think it is our culture’s lack of familiarity with and curiosity about what makes things tick. I once read a highly awakened individual’s comment that poets are the people who can take you to the threshold of the divine. He continued that they may not know how to enter that door, but that can sure put you there.

  3. Oscar,
    With no idea how much time I have left, I couldn’t wait for free day – I now have I Threw A Stone on my Kindle Fire and since Christina and I share an Amazon account (and, for that matter, everything else) she also has your book on her Kindle.
    Between you and Jo VonBargen I know I’ve been double-gifted by the universe.
    Thanks – more than even you can probably imagine.

    • Bert, thank you so much. What can we do with our words?I’ve got Southern Investigations on my Kindle and I can see from a glance you have that lean balanced prose. I’ll be coming back to you…

  4. I quite like the fact that I have to search and search – and search again in every bookshop I go into to find my passion (poetry, of course) and find channel 18 too accessible within these four walls to find a quiet hour to write a poem. Love your slant Oscar, this is the first post I’ve read so I’ll get the volume on channel 18 turned down and have a mooch around the rest of your blog 🙂

  5. Thought your blog was very clever – a free book of poetry with each pair of spectacles – and expected your poetry to be humorous. “There was a young lady from France . . .”

    Listened to your sample, I Threw a Stone and was convinced to download the book on Kindle. (Although being the cheapster that I am, I’ll wait until tomorrow!!) But in exchange for your free book, I shall sing your praises on Twitter. (To both of my followers.)

  6. Pingback: Life Within Its Usual Frame – And Without… - Bert Blogging | Bert Blogging

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