Mike Snider's Formal Blog at the Sonnetarium :
poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz
Updated: 6/26/08; 9:16:34 PM.



AIM: poemando




Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Just to prove what a lout I am, I'd like to thank Daze Reader for the link to this selection of pornographic verse by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester.

8:00:27 PM    comment: use html tags for formatting []  trackback []

Besides valiantly trying to keep me in line, Chris Lott's back at Cosmopoetica, continuing a discussion with Josh Corey about seriousness in poetry and beginning a poem-by-poem reaction to the 2004 Best American Poetry There are many posts, so I'll link to archives, Josh here and Chris here.

You may remember that Jonathan Mayhew, a few months ago, also scored the BAP (here, here, and here). It's a small sample yet on Chris's side, but after Kim Addonizio's opening poem, which gets a nod from both (7.5/10 and 4/5), there's not much agreement. I'm not surprised at the consensus about Kim — she's just damned good. Nor am I surprised at the disagreement later; nor will you, dear reader, be surprised that so far I'm with Chris.

And I'm all for taking seriously poetry and the writing of poetry, which, as both Chris and Josh have said, does not mean you can't laugh about it or use it to make other people laugh. And once again, when there's disagreement, I find myself with Chris. How can anyone believe that Billy Collins doesn't take his poetry seriously? Whether you like his poetry or not (I do, much more than Ron Silliman's or Lyn Hejinian's or Jorie Graham's but not nearly as much Sam Gwynn's or Kim Addonizio's or Tim Murphy's), the man works harder at making poems and bringing poems to others than any ten of the rest of us except perhaps Dana Gioia. It seems to me that, too often, when the post-avant (or School of Phlogiston) says "taking poetry seriously" it really means taking post-modern literary theory seriously. And that means refusing to take human nature seriously.

But you know, it's seriously weird to use the seriousness of an artist as a gauge for the worth of that artist's work. William McGonagall was as serious as a heart attack about his godawful poetry, and William Shakespeare was trying to make a living, in the theater of all places, where even minimal experience teaches you that you'd better listen to your actors when they say a line doesn't play.

7:27:23 PM    comment: use html tags for formatting []  trackback []

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

2008 Michael Snider.

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.

November 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
Oct   Dec


Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007 (empty)
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007 (empty)
Dec 2006 (empty)
Nov 2006 (empty)
Oct 2006
Sep 2006 (empty)
Aug 2006
Jul 2006
Jun 2006
May 2006
Apr 2006
Mar 2006
Feb 2006
Jan 2006
Dec 2005
Nov 2005
Oct 2005
Sep 2005
Aug 2005
Jul 2005
Jun 2005
May 2005
Apr 2005
Mar 2005
Feb 2005
Jan 2005
Dec 2004
Nov 2004
Oct 2004
Sep 2004
Aug 2004
Jul 2004
Jun 2004
May 2004
Apr 2004
Mar 2004
Feb 2004
Jan 2004
Dec 2003
Nov 2003
Oct 2003
Sep 2003
Aug 2003
Jul 2003
Jun 2003
May 2003
Apr 2003
Mar 2003
Feb 2003
Jan 2003
Dec 2002
Nov 2002
Oct 2002
Sep 2002