At one time or another, when face-to-face with a poem, most everyone has
been perplexed. The experience of reading a poem itself is as likely to
turn us off, intellectually or emotionally, as it is to move us. Unless
patronized by celebrities, set to music, accompanied by visuals, or
penned by our own children, poems do a terrible job of marketing
themselves. All those ragged lines and affected white spaces make them
appear as though they should be treated only as pieces of solemn art. Look but don’t get too close, and definitely don’t touch.
Amid the social upheaval of the 1960s, when protests were brutally quashed, Detroit’s Broadside Press
was quietly turning out the works of African-American poets who were
telling universal and particular truths that re-shaped the way people
thought of themselves and each other.
Lots of works, in fact.
In fiction, as in a cemetery, there's a limited number of plots. We just
aren't sure how many. Carlos Gozzi, a 18th-century Italian playwright,
thought there were 36 dramatic situations, but ever since then, the
number has been going down, cratering with Christopher Booker's popular
2004 The Seven Basic Plot Structures. Read More