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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Kenyon

Take a poet like Jane Kenyon. She is regarded as a significant poet, etc... I went to the Poetry magazine website and the poems of hers there use phrases like "I believe in the miracles of art" or "in a frenzy of delight." If I used phrases like that, it would be because I was trying to write a really bad poem, but these phrases are used in earnest. Even the phrases that aren't this bad lack the sharpness of language you would expect in good poetry. People talk about taste, but can this really be a question of taste, understood as individual differences? No. In what universe can you use "in a frenzy of delight" in a poem and mean it earnestly? The taste defense is just a cop-out, used in order to end arguments without violence.

3 comments:

Leslie said...

Poetry, the magazine, is muy venida a menos.

Leslie said...

...or perhaps was always like that.

Andrew Shields said...

"Poetry" had a bland phase a few years back but has been really good recently.