UNTIL POETRY DO US PART
Writing has always reflected the way society is organized. We think by using words, and every action is originated in the mind, so the changes that language suffers through time is the main cause for the rearranging of social structures.
A good writer, as Gertrude Stein said it, is the one that perceives this changes in the present and reflects them in his writings; this way, he doesn’t just repeats old forms and contents that worked for the writers of that time.
An example of this is the way classic poetry reflected, beside other aspects, the conditions of couple relationships in those times. Words weren’t that important as it was the way they were arranged to conform to certain measures and rimes. The same happened with couples (married couples at that time), individuality was sacrificed in order to maintain harmony and keep a life long relationship. But people became tired of the artificiality of those structures, and so it began the era of egoism. Relationships didn’t (and still most don’t) lasted near half the time they used to, because now, both members were conscious of their needs and their dreams, and if the partner was and obstacle for them, the relationship was dissolved. Modern poetry reflected this by the use of the free verse, in which the singularity of words was the main concern, and it didn’t matter that this destructed the rigid forms of the past. We saw the number of divorces rise, and the number of relationships increase for a single persons in its life, and words forming new meanings by the new possibilities for them in a poem.
Poetry changed again; postmodernism came, but people in a couple relationship are still behaving as the words in modern poetry. It’s not that the way people (words) acted in classic poetry was correct, but it seems that some arrangement has to be made between both, creating a new and functional way to assure the continuity of healthy couples in our society. New forms and the beginning of new genres are becoming present in literature, but it seems they are attending other aspects of contemporary processes. Couple relationships now are leaving the poetry realm, and that is sad news, because, as Kathy Acker wrote: Why have matters changed between man and women? Because today love is a condition of narcissism, because we’ve been taught possession rather than possessionless love…today, only the knights who are mad enough to love someone who loves them maintain this order of poetry.