Friday 25 January 2013

More poets - official

Since my 4th January blog 'How many poets are there?' I've learned (from the forthcoming Frederic Raphael/Joseph Epstein correspondence Distant Intimacy) that there are today 26,000 poets officially registered in the United States.

Epstein provides this information and sourly wonders where you should go to register . . .

I suspect the figure, if not plucked from thin air, is based on census returns or IRS data, or extrapolations from some kind of consumer research and should not be taken any more seriously than  those citizens who 'self-identify' as Jedi Knights, Klingons, warlocks or Hobbits. Many of them are likely to turn their hand to verse as well.

26,000 registered poets is (depending on your point of view) a heartening confirmation of cultural advancement or dispiriting evidence of the opposite. The 2011 International Who's Who of Poets listed just 4,000 working in English worldwide.

What's going on here? Or rather there?

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