Why yes, yes they are.
I was at a poetry reading by a “famous” (in the poetry world) Irish poet named Paul Muldoon, whose most famous poem’s refrain is something like “with a rinky-tink dinky-tink link link,” or something like that. For such work, Muldoon has won a Pulitzer prize in poetry, which to my mind says something about the state of the arts at this point, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Inevitably, perhaps, during the question and answer period one of the undergrads in the audience asked Mr. Muldoon:
“Sir, do you believe that song lyrics are poetry?”
And Mr. Muldoon said: ”Well, no, son. Not really.”
And I wanted this supposedly world-famous, ultra-talented spokesman for modern poetry in the world to explain for us, why, indeed, this was not so. All that he could manage, however, was something along the lines of, “Well, poetry is different; it’s more complex, and it often has forms which are not compatible with simple song lyrics.” (more…)