You’re Not Getting Older; They’re Getting Younger


I once wrote a poem (it’s lying around here somewhere) about how young some of these doctors I’ve seen are getting. Do they really know what the hell they’re doing? I wondered. For some reason, I prefer seeing white-haired-but-healthy-looking sorts behind a scalpel. Behind a jet airliner’s controls, too.

But part of the Isaac Newton “for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction” logic of the universe is that any society getting older is by necessity also getting younger. I mean, philosophy courses that start with syllogisms were the death of me, but this much I know.

One great example of this phenomenon is a newish poetry site called The Adroit Journal. Check out its ancient editor-in-chief. Move over, Methuselah! I sent some poems to this journal because I admired the poems already published there. Only after I clicked the “submit” button did I stumble upon the link to Adroit’s poetry readers.

Look again. Not a white-haired-but-healthy-looking sort in the line-up. Just healthy-looking. And very young-looking. The average age must be, what… 23 or less?

To me, this is a good thing for poetry. A very good thing. Some readers out there consider our fair outpost a bit too exotic for its own good. You know, poetry as precious kingdom. One ruled by a clique in a tower with its own rules.

Something tells me Adroit’s poetry readers have little use for rules and even less for ivory-towered kingdoms. They just know what they like and publish it.

The moral of this story? The world is not getting older; it’s getting younger. And that includes The Poetry World. Thank God and other deities…



  1. You’re being ageist. Whether written by old farts or young pups, good poetry is good and bad poetry is bad. If “Poetry” magazine is any indicator, with its pathetic desire to be hip and “trending,” the publishing of younger poets guarantees NOTHING. The popular belief that there are all these untapped and ignored
    “marginalized” poetic voices (young, LGBT, poets of color, etc) out there has led to a plethora of really shitty verse. Please, I’m begging you, “Poetry,” stop my subscription!!


  2. I’m not being ageist at all. I’m being anti-Secret Society, Keepers of the Flame-ist (age notwithstanding). Nor am I arguing that youth is marginalized. My point is simply that most younger poets haven’t sipped the Kool-Aid. You know, the beverage of poets who wouldn’t give you or me (or our writing) the time of day.

    As for Poetry, I admit to having a subscription and to being underwhelmed. This is the premier poetry magazine in the land? It cannot be…


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