Poetry, then,—genuine poetry—does not merely echo, mirror or imitate life. It is neither an effigy nor a replica. Nor, as novelty theories in the boutique of poetic practices hold, does genuine poetry mimic its own composition, like a postmodern snake biting its own tail. This is only the latest freak in a misguided effort to appear cutting-edge. The compulsion to “make it new” does not necessarily make it good. Despite the reigning hype that some poets hold dear, serious poetry is never “experimental,” collage-driven, aleatory, duplicative, computer generated or Flarfist, or a mere congeries of mechanical gimmicks assembled according to some opaque “method” of composition. This is not to say that it cannot be innovative, only that there are limits established within the bounds of communication. After all, if poetry is ever to flourish, even minimally, it should appeal not only to the specialist or sophisticate but to the proverbial common or educated reader.
Sunday, December 02, 2018
… What Makes a Poem? > David Solway. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)