Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm not so sure ...

... Anecdotal Evidence: `Metre Is a Brain-Altering Drug'.

Bad poetry can be very powerful and seductive, whether transparently bad like Poe’s or “skillfully obscure” like Hart Crane’s, in the words of Yvor Winters. Too much emphasis on sound results in nonsense; too much on sense, propaganda that might as well be prose.

In Poe's defense, I have to say that "To Helen" is actually a pretty good poem, and while "Romance" probably isn't such a good poem, I've always loved that phrase "eternal condor years."

1 comment:

  1. Yvor Winters, despite his strengths as a poet, was one of the most wrongheaded poetry critics of all time. I'd always hesitate to cite his opinions as anything more than that.

    The psychology of trance and entrainment does have something to contribute to the study of meter and rhyme, though. That's been known to psychologists, and ethnomusicologists, for quite some time.

    One thing you can say for Poe, there are some terrific musical settings of his poems, because of their metre, rhythm, and music.