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When students only have read a few poems, in exclusively academic contexts, they often approach poetry with what the li...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Let's Instrumentalize Everything

Once we instrumentalize poetry, judge it by its racism or anti-racism and only by that, for example, then there is really no way out. As Aaron Kunin puts it:
If you didn’t care about poetry itself, would you attend a poetry reading in hopes of snacking on the cheese and crackers that might possibly be served afterwards? Wouldn’t the poetry reading make you impatient? Couldn’t you think of more efficient ways of satisfying your hunger — other social gatherings where you wouldn’t have to hear any poetry, and the cheese and crackers came out right away?

People used to read that way in Graduate School. The idea was to judge how racist or sexist something was. But why bother unless you like poetry in the first place?

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