Fun_People Archive
11 Apr
Poets: ``No Thanks'' to Internet

Date: Thu, 11 Apr 96 01:46:00 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Poets: ``No Thanks'' to Internet

Forwarded-by: Dan Tenenbaum <>

Wednesday April 10 3:17 PM EST

Nobel Poets: ``No Thanks'' to Internet

MIAMI (Reuter) - While some Americans race headlong to jump onto the
Internet for entertainment, business and communications, a group of
Nobel Prize winning poets said serious verse belongs in books, not

``It may sound a little pompous, but the number of people who read a
poem is not as important as how the poem affects those who read it,''
said Derek Walcott, a native of St. Lucia who won the Nobel Prize for
poetry in 1992.

``I'd rather have just one person who reads and feels my work deeply
than hundreds of thousands who read it but don't really care about
it,'' he added.

Walcott is currently collaborating with composer Paul Simon on a

Walcott joined fellow poets Octavio Paz of Mexico and Czeslaw Milosz
of Poland in Miami on Tuesday for a news conference prior to a public
reading sponsored by the Miami International Book Fair. Paz won the
Nobel Prize for poetry in 1990 and Milosz won it in 1980.

All three said they were undaunted by estimates that show only about 1
percent of Americans today read poetry.

``If poetry is a minority art, it still is vital for the spiritual
health of a society,'' Paz told reporters. ``I don't believe in the
death of poetry because it would be the death of society itself.''

Milosz said he used a computer to write some of his poems, but did not
believe poetry-lovers would search Web sites for poems rather than
read them in books.

A series of nationwide events have been planned to mark the first
annual national poetry month in April.

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