Poetry receives its share of attention these days, especially with the rise of poetry apps and Internet sites.
Some once familiar poets are receiving new attention. In the last several months, I've seen two pieces on the 18th century poet Thomas Gray, who wrote relatively little for a writer of his time yet created a number of lines and phrases that entered the language's cultural database, such as "ignorance is bliss" and "far from the madding crowd."
David Lehman, of "The Best American Poetry" fame, a few months ago wrote an appreciation of Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College." In last Saturday's Wall Street Journal Review section, a writer discussed "Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard," citing Lincoln quoting a line from the poem. Lehman's piece on Slate included a recording of Lehman reading "An Ode," as well as a copy of the poem.
Slate frequently runs poems by contemporary writers, along with appraisals of poems by writers in the canon. This week, Slate had David Rivard's appreciation and reading of Edward Thomas' "There's Nothing Like the Sun." Thomas, an English poet whose work was championed by Robert Frost and one of the many fine writers killed in World War I, has received a spate of attention lately after Matthew Hollis' biography appeared.
Poetry magazine's app offers a library of classic and contemporary poems, accessible through a cool spin mechanism. E-copies of the New Yorker on my Nook offer recordings of poets reading the poems appearing in the magazine each week, along with other audio and video features.
One of humans' oldest forms of expression is receiving new vitality from technology otherwise disrupting traditional media forms.