I’m watching After The Dark on Netflix. To borrow from that IMDB link:
“At an international school in Jakarta, a philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty graduating seniors to choose which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race in the event of a nuclear apocalypse.”
In their thought experiment, each of the students draws a random card alloting them a career or skillset. They read them to others, so that the group may decide who gets in the ten-bunk bunker [for example, and not necessarily accurate to the film]:
“I am a structural engineer”
“I am a harpist”
“I am a carpenter”
“I am a physician”
“I am a hedge fund manager”
“I am a published poet”
The lecturer shoots the poet. Not the harpist, you note, nor the hedge fund manager…
[I thought, this is maybe worth a post on SDMB…]
The experiment continues…with consequences that I won’t spoil. At any rate, they run another iteration of the experiment, this time reading the inside of their folded job cards [again, for example]:
“I am a harpist who is also a midwife”
“I am a physician who is infertile”
“I am a carpenter who can speak 7 languages”
“I am a hedge fund manager with an eidetic memory”
“I am a published poet…”
The screenwriter clearly holds poets in very low esteem. As an occasionally published poet (and, if you’ll excuse my immodesty, a very successful performance poet who disdains publishing even though its happened sometimes).
So, I paused Netflix. I bet they run a third iteration and he shoots the poet again.
Is there any value to poetry and poets? I know that I can command the attention of a drunken mob and rather than have them throw stones at me, they clap me on the back and give me beer and money and sex. But I also know that if I didn’t have a ‘proper’ job I’d starve in a gutter.
So what is the value of poetry?