… Yet surely, just as in the twentieth century my own form, the novel, became defined not by itself and its own evolution, but by its queered relationship with the new, swaggering narrative kid on the block: cinema − so poetry, during the same period, had to contend with the mass dissemination of recorded popular song. I’m not claiming that pop − or film for that matter − are complete substitutes for these literary modes we love, but they do hit many of the same spots − hit them with considerably more force and ease. If the novelist has to expend many words and much effort describing a mise-en-scene, a filmmaker can simply show it; and by the same token, if the poet seeks to implant in her readers and listeners’ ears lines of such force, together with images so arresting, that they’ll retain them a lifetime, then the entire exercise is rather swamped by pop, which pipes its lines straight into our cerebella 24/7 by whatever means it can. Moreover, whatever we as practitioners may feel, the evidence is overwhelming: the public is satisfied by these substitutions − and frankly, for the most part, so am I.