March 17, 2006


Last night we were talking about how hard it is to make a living as a writer, and I remembered the New Yorker profile of John Ashbery that said that Billy Collins was possibly the only person in America who can support himself writing poetry. (Ashbery teaches.) And then I realized: More Americans make a living blogging than writing poetry.

Could anything be more wrong?

Posted by Matt Weiner at March 17, 2006 07:43 AM

Yes. A lot of things people blog about are more wrong. (I wonder if rappers were counted as poets. In the old days lyricists like Dorothy Fields and Comden and Green and Alan Jay Lerner could make a living.)

Posted by: Matt's mom at March 17, 2006 08:57 AM

Be careful what you wish for. What you fail to account for is the possibility that the invisible aesthetic hand of the economy is paying those people to blog, to keep them too busy to write any poetry.

Posted by: Ben at March 17, 2006 07:59 PM

I blame the publishing industry.

Posted by: bitchphd at March 17, 2006 08:45 PM

That's why we have college basketball, Ben.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 18, 2006 09:48 AM

"The poet conveys his thoughts...on the carriage of rhythm: usually because they are unable to walk on their own feet."

Thenk again, Nietzsche never read Ashbery.

Posted by: "Q" the Enchanter at March 21, 2006 11:55 AM

J.J. Redick's problem is that college basketball, hypocritically, doesn't actually pay. Let's all hope that he makes it in the pros, so that he becomes too wealthy and busy to write any more poetry, other than for hoopstar bad vanity rap albums.

However, while no great poetry, to my knowledge, has come from a college b-ball star, let no one say that March Madness has never inspired the disciples of Polyhymnia. The late lamented Village Voice sports section used to feature NCAA Haiku. A few are still on the Internets at the bottom of this page and that one. (The second one's formatting is messed up; the two haiku are printed side by side, so you have to split the lines to separate them.)

By the way, these are real haiku, which are supposed to contain a reference that invokes the seasons, as well as just having the right number of syllables.

Posted by: Ben at March 21, 2006 01:47 PM

I don't see what's so wrong about that.

Posted by: ben wolfson at March 25, 2006 12:54 AM