Can I make a living writing poetry?
Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:20 AM
Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:28 PM
Catchphrases, mottoes, tag lines, slogans, and specific ad campaigns often revolve around short, catchy rhymes ("Swiffer: The Quicker Picker Upper," or "Don't be vague, ask for Haig") and other poetic devises (alliteration: "Britain's best business bank," or anaphora, "Coleman: Better choice, better joys").
TV commercials often use songs, which are (as Darryl) pointed out, a form of poetry.
None of these things are really the same as writing true poetry, in your own style, creating your own art. But the sad fact of the matter is, nobody buys poetry anymore. Try to think of the last NYTimes bestseller that was a poetry book. Or even any popular poetry book that came out within the last five years. Or ten years.
Poets who make it big are incredibly, incredibly rare. And, sadly, even those who "make it big" are seldom rich or famous. Even the best poet is a big fish in a small pond, because the percentage of Americans who 1) care about poetry, 2) read it regularly, 3) follow it currently, and 4) pay money for it, form an incredibly small pond. And even in that pond, the competition is fearsome.
One last way to actually earn money via poetry: Teach it. People are much more willing to pay for poetry classes than actual poetry. Become an English teacher and use poetry to improve students' writing skills, or teach literature and focus a class on poetry, or offer an adult evening continuing-education class at a community center or community college. Then you still get to immerse yourself in poetry, and even write some to use in class, but you also have a career.
Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:10 PM
You can also start a poetry business in a similar way that Hallmark sells greeting cards. Just make up poems for people to use on special occasions and charge them for the service. You can't really go to school to be a professional poet; however, you can still find ways to make money doing what you love. Best of luck to you!
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