I have just read a short report on someone with the unlikely name of Jay-Z. He is a rapper (?). His personal fortune is estimated at more than £250 million. He is reported to be earning about £5000 an hour. For rapping?
I find this difficult to believe because from what little I have heard of rap (or rapping, or whatever) it strikes me that it is nothing more than simple rhyming couplets in verses, spoken (or shouted) rather than sung, carrying messages which it is hoped will inspire young people to follow some kind of anarchic path.
I may be wrong because I find it difficult to actually follow the gist of the themes of the "songs".
What is interesting to me is that the verses have rhymes in them.
I recall, some time ago, a young pop artist saying something to the effect that now he and his ilk were the new poets of the age. I scoffed at the idea at the time but now I'm not so sure he's wrong. After all, verses of pop songs do have rhymes - which a great deal of poems published in books and magazines don't have these days.
Indeed, there is one publisher who, while requesting that poets are welcome to submit works to her magazine, specifies that she does not want poems with verses that have rhymes.
Why not? What's wrong with rhyme?
Is this one of the reasons that modern poetry has lost touch with the general public? After all, most people love rhyming poems.
Maybe that's why rap is so popular - the verses have lines that rhyme.
And on the subject of modern poets, Cyril Connolly wrote: "Poets arguing about modern poetry: jackals snarling over a dried-up well."
So rap on Jay-Z. Maybe you are saying something important after all; and if not, at least you are keeping a vast public entertained - something that certainly cannot be said about modern poets.