What next?

  • The WWW is encroaching on all the areas where poetry comes from, affecting our notions of identity and communication as well as determining what parts of the canon and the world are accessible.
  • Our mental maps are changing - they no longer have borders as between nations, but roads and gateways as between cities or web pages.
  • Paul Ginestier in "The Poet and the Machine" suggests that cities tend to revive the basic archetypes of the human imagination. If people are sufficiently influenced by the discourse within which they are embedded, then even a return to Romanticism will lead to something new, beyond our oral past to escapist pastorals set in an unwired megalopis.
  • The WWW can change poetry, not so much by engendering new forms but by reshaping poets and the world of poetry, making what's currently available only to theorists and the avant-garde an everyday experience for all so that the fabled intelligent layman will again be able to tap into poetry.