They No Longer Sell Poetry at the Bookstore

They no longer sell poetry
at the bookstore.

There used to be a section between
the westerns and the stationary —
Frost, Angelou, Bukowski, not
much new — behind the novelty
and gift card racks,

but they no longer sell poetry
at the bookstore.

There were collections and magazines
once upon a time, not so long ago,
where one could find a poem,
behind Discovery and the
Archeology Times,

but they no longer sell poetry
at the bookstore.

She would read to me, and I to her —
she preferred Dickinson, Hughes
more to my taste — on spring
nights and fall days when book pages
felt like new grass and dry leaves.

They no longer sell poetry
at the bookstore.


Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

21 responses to “They No Longer Sell Poetry at the Bookstore

  1. I love this, and it is so often unfortunately true…

  2. Sad and yet we can have hope too – we poets can get it back! Can’t we? I think we can! And at least the e-bookstores are not quite so prejudiced!

  3. Very sad. The libraries in Madison have quite a stock, but the only way to find new poetry now is to by online or (ugh) get the Kindle version, which deprives one of the sensual experience of turning pages, smoothing them out, fingering the bindings… I hate “virtual reading.” And the whole situation is sad. You can buy 28 volumes of some hack guru like Wayne Dyer or Joel “Am I Smiling Hard Enough So I Look Like Julia Roberts” Osteen, but not a single volume of Mary Oliver. Thanks for the observation and the tender way you framed it, in a love affair… Amy

  4. A very well done and sadly true dilemma. Poetry saved me as a teen, and sustains me today. It is so sad that we have lost poetry along the way, and with it part of ourselves, our heart & soul.

  5. Such a sad progression of the road the world is going too. One of the saddest days will be when there are no longer poetry books in any bookstore.

  6. I always have a hard time finding the poetry section in bookstores – and I use the term ‘section’ loosely because usually there’s just a quarter-shelf’s worth of space devoted to it – IF that much.

  7. Mark, this is sad on more than one level. I really like how you chose the loss of poetry to define the loss of something/someone special. Fortunately, our small, independent bookstore does a lot for local poets and poetry. A funky, wonderful survivor!

  8. othermary

    Your refrain is like a death knell.

  9. Yes, I have discovered the same thing…..with the exception of some books of classic poetry.

  10. it is sad, sometimes i enter the bookstore and yearn to find a good poetry book, but there seem to be just the classics, and even those a few…

  11. pretty sad huh…our bookstore’s poetry section sucks….there is much of nothing to it…and never anything new…there is a great one in greensboro nc though…

  12. it’s sad, isn’t it? i’ve noticed a similar trend in bookstores here

  13. It is a sad day when bookstores no longer sell poetry. Sigh. Love the way you wrote this!

  14. Pingback: Dreamy Artist « EssayBoard

  15. this is happening everywhere……….can’t imagine a world without poetry…

  16. what a strange world we live in… thank goodness so many of us are connected by the internet where it is always possible to feast on a banquet of poetry, shared with others who appreciate delectable words served to please, make us wonder, question, fear and feel grateful.

  17. It is a sad world we live in…..I too was at a unfamiliar bookstore & was quite taken aback by lack of poetry books.

  18. Very true. I always need to order poetry books online.

    I like how you put feeling in there without being overly emotional. Also, the form (with repetition of the title) works well.

  19. Pingback: Cultural Exchange | myothervoices

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