You've read the wrong pieces then. Keep reading.
The best is as good or better than it ever was; it's just that none of the **** stuff from the past has survived because it was **** and that makes it look like all poets and writers in the past were awesome.<br />
Personally though I refuse to read anything from before the 20th Century. I find all of the "classics" are overly wordy and generally dull to read. Personal preference though.
It's all a matter of opinion
Today's artists are rewarded more for creating songs and movies than for poems or paintings.
no i cant say there is. i do write but its simply to put what i feel into words. since i am mute reading my own words kind of well purifies my feelings