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Patricia Lockwood Headshot

Possibilities For Poetry In The Future

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"What is the future of poetry?" many people a few people a classroom of 19-year-olds at Harvard the fleas on Maya Angelou's dog are wondering. Will poetry continue to evolve along with us? Will it change as technology changes? Will it get random buttons all over it? Will it, ultimately, be a robot?

What will be its role in the miraculous future that awaits the human race, full of shining pod cities and new languages and extraterrestrial Tarzans swinging on vines through space jungles and talking baby scientists and telepathic pizza delivery men? No one knows for sure, and the majority of people do not even remotely care, but here are a few of my ideas.

  • Poetry is now administered in the form of Jetsons-type pills.
  • Poetry walks on the moon... on a REPLICA of the moon, that is, on a soundstage in Hollywood.
  • Poetry dies out almost completely, and survives solely in the form of personalized license plates on flying cars.
  • Riker fucks poetry in the holodeck.
  • Due to the mutating effects of pollution, iambic pentameter grows an extra foot.
  • Poetry about nature is replaced by poetry that THINKS it is about nature, but instead is about the simulation that all of us are living in.
  • Poetry as facehugger, chestburster, Queen Mother, and sticky disgusting egg.
  • Postmodern poetry is succeeded by posthuman poetry.
  • Grace Jones is now required by law to make an appearance in every poem ever written. If she is left out, then the poet is killed.
  • In Grand Theft Auto 47, you don't steal a car... you steal a poem, which is a vehicle for the imagination.
  • Perverts are now allowed to marry horses, the Eiffel Tower, their pillow-wives, and poems.
  • Poetry is more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
  • Vogons are real, and they're about to produce the next Nobel Prize winner.
  • Scientists determine a way to grow poems in vats. Poetry no longer requires the senseless murder of a whole cow.
  • Poetry fails to outlast the period in which it is written solely by Millennials.
  • All traditional punctuation is replaced with futuristic beeping noises.
  • All sonnets now end with a loud Wookiee roar.
  • Poems are transported from the mind of the author directly into the mind of the reader.
  • After thousands of years in decline, poetry is hot again. It's hotter than hot. It's the Heat Death of the Universe.
  • Out on the edge of the galaxy, poetry is sucked into a black hole. Nope, wait, that is its own butt?
  • One word: Newspeak.
  • "Take me to your leader," the alien says to the poem. The poem takes the alien to meet a reanimated William Shakespeare, who karate-chops the alien right through the throat and saves the world.
  • Poetry is still used to "score chicks," but there are no chicks anymore. There are no dudes either, for that matter. In the future, everyone is just a big blue hottie.
  • Everyone on earth is dead except for two copies of that Philip Larkin poem that begins, "They fuck you up, your mum and dad." They are forced to mate in order to produce children to repopulate the planet. The irony is insane.

So there you have it. All of these possibilities sound terrible, but I, for one, can't wait. The future's so bright I gotta wear shades special glasses with a freakishly high prescription that become tinted when I walk into the light, and which are not cool by any standard of measure, but without which I would not be able to read any poetry at all.