Yet the move toward accessibility hasn’t always pleased the public. Making written poetry sound like everyday speech was supposed to facilitate communication between poets and their audiences. Instead, it appears to have prompted a large swathe of China’s online population to adopt a gatekeeping mentality of their own, complaining that poems that are too easily understood don’t deserve the title of “poetry.” In doing so, they inadvertently address the question I began with. Does poetry still matter? If the question is being asked in the first place, I would venture that we already know the answer.
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