|Article 5 - for Poetry Review Vol. 87 No. 1 Spring 1997|
Everyone knows that the Web is full of sex. Slightly less well known is that poetry isn't far behind in popularity. I know this because I asked the Alta Vista search engine. (You can find it at 1 but when you've done that, bookmark the local mirror site for faster access.) It knows about 380 000 pages that mention sex, but it also reckons there are around 220 000 that mention poetry. (Football and fishing are about as popular as poetry; rock music doesn't come anywhere close.)
Alta Vista is the biggest and fastest of the search engines, but these huge numbers make it a challenge to find the interesting stuff. Fortunately, with a bit of practice, you can refine your questions to give more manageable results. For example, using the advanced search to ask for: '"japanese poetry" and not haiku' returns a more manageable 150 sites. Even so, it's all a bit hit and miss, with the emphasis on the miss part.
More efficient is to let someone else do the work, and use links they've found and published. One links page that's been around a while is Awesome Poetry Links atCalling it awesome is a bit over the top, but it does have some interesting leads. One of the best is the Internet Poetry Archive at which has well-produced examples of Seamus Heaney, Czeslaw Milosz, and Philip Levine. As well as the text, it has audio files, so, if you have a sound card and some patience, you can listen to them read. I suspect sound files will become an increasingly important part of poetry web pages, but not until technology increases the speed of the transfer or reduces the size of the files. Give it a year.
In the meantime, send any good links or (especially) lists of links to...
Copyright © Peter Howard 1997-2004