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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...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Precise

What if we say poetry as a more precise, rather than a more vague, use of language?

7 comments:

Thomas said...

That's my view. Poetry is a notation that affords emotional precision. It's our most precise instrument for engaging with culture. A society that marginalizes poetry becomes less precise in its emotional life. I think this is a Pound/Kung thesis. Poetry is the rectification of the names of our feeling. It makes our obedience—and our disobedience—more precise. In that sense, poetry is the highest of the arts of being being ruled.

Leslie said...

It is. That is why it is more interesting than other genres, from every point of view but the mushy and the fuzzy.

Olga Bezhanova said...

Off topic but still: do you think the reason why many literary critics are dissuaded from analyzing poetry might be how incredibly hard it is to get copyright clearances? This is the first time I analyzed poetry and my publishers are making me ask for permissions for every single verse I quoted. It's driving me nuts.

Leslie said...

No -- if they're not interested in poetry, they won't get to that point. Also, I think it is unusual that this publisher asking for permission for every verse. How much are they letting you quote from prose fiction without asking for permission?

Bob Basil said...

To Clarissa, I wouldn't be surprised. Paul Zukofsky made life almost impossibly difficult for a couple of grad-school classmates who had dissertation chapters on Louis Zukofsky; one left the profession and the other was saved by an intercession by Robert Creeley with Zukofsky's publisher.

Bob Basil said...

To Olga, I mean!

Bob Basil said...

Wow, superb post, Thomas. Thank you!