(This post originally appeared as a comment on Can There be Poem Criticism without PoBiz Criticism?. Monday Love has offered his/her definition of poetry [Big bold letters = admin emphasis]. How might we expand on that definition? Or should we? Is poetry like porn and art in that "we know it when we see it"? )
Matt hates po-biz on a personal and visceral level. Plus, because he's a student of Jung, he seeks ways to understand tribal and universal and personal behavior, so he's not motivated to “let go” of his hatred of po-biz on a personal, or a psychological, or a symbolic, or a philosophical level. This is going to make for some interesting insights--and for some rants.
Poetry should always be at the center of our discourse; if po-biz or Jung take over, we're likely to get lost in the woods.
What is Poetry? Poetry, when significant, engages with universal human pains and pleasures in a unique manner.
The chief problem with po-biz is that it has nothing to do with universal human pains and pleasures, but with day-to-day administrative and commercial aspects of what poetry has become in our day--and what has it become?
Does poetry today serve the audience of a Homer or a Dante or a Shakespeare or a Milton or a Pope or a Byron or a Tennyson or a Frost? No, it does not.
“Star Wars” serves the Homer audience. The Bible serves the Dante and Milton audience. Chick-lit serves the Byron and Tennyson audience. Self-help and naturalist non-fiction serves the Frost audience. Pope's audience has simply withered away, or is scattered here and there among the other audiences.
Why should a “Jung person” or a Christian or a “Star Wars” fan read poetry?
In most people's homes today, there is refrigerator poetry and there are discussions around the table in which “poetry” of the kind that is published today can be said to exist.
Poetry emerged after the dark ages as a substitute for religion, but that role has pretty much run its course. Poets are no longer sages or revolutionaries anymore. They have a very local existence, and they don't provide what can not be easily found elsewhere.
Po-biz adherents will simply shrug when they are accused by those like Matt who say they are not “up to task.” They will say, "Look at what poetry has become. That's not our fault."