I think the main culprit is modernity itself. Modernity and beauty simply don't mix. Pragmatism and an industrial-sized busyness denigrate everything that can't squeeze out of a calculator. And the first thing to die under such circumstances is a passion for beauty. For those trying desperately to jump over moving hurdles, pursuing beauty is just foolishness. . . . We just don't have the time for poetry; beauty isn't useful, we say, until we're in our eighties, when many finally reflect and realize that beauty was truly essential to a good life that has now slipped by.