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Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Book

If I wanted to publish a book of poems, I would / could do it. It would involve putting effort into that, on a regular basis, and not giving up. The reason I have not done this is that I have not put effort into it consistently enough, and the reason for this is that I have given priority to academic projects. It doesn't have much to do with not being a good poet, because actually I am, or of not writing poems, which I do. I'm assuming that most poets are bad anyway, and that most books of poems are crap, so that this is not the issue at all. In other words, even if I were among the crappiest poets alive, that should not be an obstacle.  When I have tried, I have not been successful, but that is because I tried to do it rather than actually doing it. We only use the verb try when we make insufficient effort.  

The book of poems assumes different shapes at different times in my life, and there may be more than one book that I could publish.

The significant thing here is to take responsibility for the fact that I haven't published. If I directed attention in that direction, it would happen.  


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not quite on topic but: there is a Ben Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station) book from 2016 called The Hatred of Poetry, have you read it? I am looking at its Amazon excerpts and am not sure how groundbreaking it may be, but perhaps it's a good item for teaching.

Jonathan said...

Yes. It's ok. I think I quote it in an essay on teaching Latin American poetry that will come out in an MLA book edited by Jill K.

The thesis is that we think poetry is bad because we have outsized expectations of it, so the real poetry can never live up to that. It is an interesting idea, which I disagree with, but he got a lot of Flac because people thought he was saying he hated poetry, etc...

Vance Maverick said...

Does he explicitly cite "I too dislike it"? Prior art, as it were, on ce m├ępris qui n'en est un.

Jonathan said...

He starts the book with Marianne Moore, yes.

Anonymous said...

I have since figured out that he is an MFA. I may be a snob but I think this explains the provincialism. He seems to think poetry is what Whitman said it was, etc.