I have no illusions whatsoever about people at large being in need of poets or their work.
Edward Dorn in Statement for the Paterson Society (Edward Dorn, Views, Four Seasons Foundation, San Francisco, 1980)
Not having read much lately - due to lack of time and motivation -, I picked a book from the shelf next to me yesterday, which happened to be the one shown above, opened it and came across this devastating* statement on the need for poets and their work. Actually, I must admit to have been thinking along the same lines. According to Marx, man's basic needs (such as food, clothing, etc.) must be fulfilled before there can be any artistic impulse. Not sure it's as simple as that. I am surrounded by thousands of people - and that's just the area I live in - whose basic needs are definitely covered or more than covered, but whose artistic impulse continues to remain remarkably underdeveloped. It's hard to picture them enjoying anything but pizza, soccer, car races, their cell phones and occasional sex. In fact, they appear to be perfect implementations of Marx's materialist view of man.
*Devastating for poets and their self-esteem.