The PBS television show Poetry in America aims to prove that American poetry is rooted both in tradition and experiment; that it is for both the poets and the people; and that, contrary to popular belief, it still plays an important role in many lives.
What Rebecca Watts disparages as the "dumbing effect" of social media is really the creation of new markets, and as a result, competitors. The reader is not "dead," as Watts declares. The reader just has more options.
It seems fair to suggest that the anxiety of influence—a creative necessity for so many poets—may have failed to penetrate the mobile-homed hamlets where Stanford roamed, rambled, mused, and wrote with prolific intensity.
Poetry is not the only genre that requires resident apologists, but poetry's form and function inherently require defense. Simply put, prose is our default mode. Poetry is a process of selection, of white space and rhythm. If prose is prayer, poetry is hymn.