Thursday, August 25, 2011

Indeed ...

... Dana Gioia in WLT: “It’s better to be noticed than ignored” | The Book Haven.


  1. I respect Gioia for many contributions he's made to poetry criticism, and that Gioia was as he says working to make it possible for any poet to write in any style, but his capsule summation of what the New Formalists were about is the same kind of over-simplification that he decries earlier in the interview. It was never as bad in the 70s against formalist poetry as he claimed—( can cite numerous examples of formal poetry doing just fine in the 70s—and as for that, even if it was that bad, it was merely the poetic fashion at the time, which was also the rise of LangPo, and look \how fashions have changed since.

    As for the New Formalists, I have never been so viciously and personally attacked for writing the kind of poetry that I write EXCEPT by neo-formalist poets. I guess the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction now, and maybe they all need to look in the mirror and realize they've become precisely what Gioia claims they were rebelling against: prescriptive, fashionable, and domineering. The rebels became the establishment, yet again.

  2. I don't know, Art. I've subscribed to Poetry for the past year, and it's notable if an issue contains even one poem written in a recognizable form. I'm not sure formalists, neo or otherwise, really dominate whatever passes for the poetry establishment these days.