Ian Burgham shares his thoughts on the role poetry will play in the digital world with The Toronto Quarterly.
When you asked me what role I saw poetry playing in a digital world I was hit with a number of responses. The first was that perhaps poetry plays no role whatsoever in the world. It is famously said that “it makes nothing happen” and therefore has no action associated with it. I agree with that. I for one do not set out to change the world because I believe that the world, and if we mean by that “the human condition and human behaviour”, is ever unchanging. I am not out to save the world and poetry is not written to do save it either. Poetry is simply the imagination at work on experience to produce an artifact (by exacting craft) of truth and beauty – it is the expression of nothing so it does not set out with any agenda but to be itself.