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Friday, November 19, 2004

Josh Corey, writing about James Tate's poetry, almost has a revelation and decides it's OK to give Tate to someone "who doesn't think they like poetry," and moves from there to

poetry for people who don't like poetry. A very peculiar demographic; I suspect a degree of self-loathing in those poets who write for it exclusively.

Even were such chimeras to exist, I suggest that there is certainly a larger and even more peculiar group: poets who are content to write for a minuscule audience of people just like the poets themselves — other poets who know all the same references, who have all the same prejudices, who endlessly trade in-jokes, who are certain that they are the bearers of the true flame and can't understand that it's guttering because there's no oxygen at the heights where they've taken it — or is it depths? Such a strange combination of arrogance and resignation.


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