Recently I've heard a few people who used to write and enjoy poetry say that they now find poetry terribly boring and whenever they try to read it, they feel as though "life is passing them by." (You know who you are.)
I find this strange -- not because I don't think poetry is boring, but because I'm surprised they didn't think it was boring before. Is poetry boring? Yes, of course it is. Life is boring. Writing of all kinds (novels, movie reviews, the news) is boring, museums are boring, TV and movies and the Internet are mostly boring, exercise is boring, work is boring, school is boring, even sex can be boring. Most of modern life is an elaborate exercise in killing time, since there is little doubt we'll all live into our nineties, if not eternally. Anything novel is a temporary cure for boredom (a new hobby, being pregnant for the first time, drugs) but things become boring again eventually (even money).
I like the subhead of Kathy Rooney's latest column for the Southtown Star: "Why poetry doesn't matter now any less than it ever has." It doesn't insist that poetry matters, whatever that means, just that it didn't use to matter more.
Most poetry readings are indeed terribly boring. I can't be bothered to finish most poems I start to read, much less most books. Most food is not worth eating (unless you're starving), I prefer silence to most music most of the time, given anything else to do, I'd rather languish with my own thoughts than watch most TV, etc. Poetry is boring, except when it isn't.