Sunday, August 01, 2010

Considering ...

... When Poetry Mattered.


  1. I read through this with some interest, agreeing with some of the comments about where poetry has gone, about the short shelf-life of Slam poetry, etc., but then it becomes clear this is entirely doom-saying. Someone made that clear in a comment: "All the arts died in the 20th Century . . . even ceramics." It becomes clear that this is merely apocalyptic polemicizing.

    I find it increasingly hard to take seriously the further into the comments I read, with memorable lines such as "Women can't make art." Clearly this is all about complaining and doomsaying, and doesn't really give us any answers, or even a balanced analysis. The further one reads into the comments, the more whacko they seem.

    Even on my days when I feel most cynical about the stupidities of Poetryworld, I can still recognize that there are some living poets out there who are doing interesting, living poetry.

  2. vanderleun1:31 PM

    But never, it seems, great and enduring.

  3. Among living poets, I think that Geoffrey Hill's work has a good chance of being thought both great and enduring. Among Americans, I think Kay Ryan has a good shot, too.

  4. I disagree, vanderleun. Frank's mentioned a couple whose work will probably endure; I agree about Kay Ryan, although I am less convinced about Hill.

    There are other candidates I could name, and there's a certain amount of personal taste involved, no doubt, yet no so much that one can't acknowledge greatness where one finds it.

    The point of course is that the test of time is the final arbiter, and something we can only guess at. But that some WILL endure is certain, even if we can't guess who.

    verification word: unnism

    Hmn, Could almost turn that into another poetry movement or -ism.