Ever since college I have believed that the only two things the world does well anymore are lust and despair. All "art" as such which is any good seems to be based on either or both of those strong emotions. The many nostalgic poems, like the ones I try to write, are a part of that despair.
But look at Gerard Manley Hopkins
GLORY be to God for dappled things—And Robert Burns
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
Thus ev'ry kind their pleasure find,The savage and the tender;
Some social join, and leagues combine,Some solitary wander:
Avaunt, away! the cruel sway,Tyrannic man's dominion;
The sportsman's joy, the murd'ring cry,The flutt'ring, gory pinion!
And W. B. Yeats
Away with us he's going,
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
Here an englishman, an irishman, and a scottsman all wrote soft pastoral poetry. Was it because they knew and understood country scenery better? Surely not.
Why did people give up? Was it too easy or too hard? I believe actually it is because the language itself has become less poetical. I believe it is because of the manipulation of the language by the elite, and by the media Furthermore it says something about the way we approach things. Instead of aiming for the universal, we aim for the "lowest common denominator" or for a level of abstraction only attainable by the professional. Thus art either becomes a speciality of the elite or merely fast food for the unwasahed masses.