Friday, January 13, 2023

Plus ça change …

… The Integrity of Poetry by Micah Mattix | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

So where are we today, thirty years after Can Poetry Matter? We are still awash in mediocre verse. The only difference is that now people are reading it. Poets still write flat, fragmented verse to demonstrate they’ve learned the rules of the game and can now teach others those rules. Gioia rightly observed that this is ­poetry-as-a-means-to-an-end. But the ready-made and sloganeering work of the Instapoets is also poetry-as-a-means-to-an-end, though sometimes a more lucrative one. Political poems always run the risk of turning into propaganda, but the political language of Gorman’s poetry, for example, lacks the earnestness of even the worst kind of political poem. She doesn’t hope to change minds, only to profit from minds that are already changed.

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