life / poetry / writing

Poetry: A Livelihood or a Way of Life

This week, The The Poetry sent the thought-provoking article “Livelihoods of the Poets” from New York Magazine into my timeline. I had to read it a couple of times to let it sink in.

I’m disappointed to see this article did not include a unit of measure along the lines of “Reward for following poetry (or any other writing) as your passion: PRICELESS,” or “Reward for poetry as a way of life: IMMEASURABLE.”

What are your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Poetry: A Livelihood or a Way of Life

  1. I think, like so many other forms of human creativity and forms of expressing oneself, there really is no monetary figure one can put on the desire and need to create and express. It's something that drives individuals regardless of the rewards and compensation. I consider it a part of who I am and while I enjoy feedback and continually growing and improving my abilities; my poetry is my form of expression, entertainment, an outlet for what I observe around me, what I don't understand, what I'm trying to understand, my dreams, it's empowering, enlightening, frustrating – it's my personal catharsis or purging of my mind, heart, and even what's beyond me.I think you would be hard pressed to find a single person who would list their occupation as "poet". I know it would boggle my mind if I were every to make a livelihood, or any money for that matter, from writing poetry, and that's assuming I even work my way to becoming what I would deem as an able poet. I mean I would gladly accept the "bling" it it were to come my way (hopefully it would be enough to take my friends out to a nice dinner), but never have I thought that writing poetry is going to amount to a money making endeavor of any proportion.In terms of the article, I think Friedman is trying show how substantial the monetary reward is for winning the Nobel Prize compared with other poetry related earnings. As far as other units of measure are concerned, I don't really think that such subject matter would be fitting for Friedman's piece, though it would be quite cool if someone (cough like yourself since it is your idea cough) were to do it.

  2. I'm a little surprised the author didn't take the piece there. It seemed so like it was headed there, and would've worked, speaking to a truth, I'd imagine, of many poets. So I'm glad you added it here on your blog.

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