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Thursday, January 12, 2023


 "under the French horns of a November afternoon"

I just found that line by James Schuyler.  On facebook many were celebrating the work of a recently deceased poet. I said nothing, because I always get irritated by celebrations of mediocrity, yet also know that you can't say anything negative, as in de mortuis nihil nisi bonus dicendum est, or something like that.

It is the moment to celebrate the work of a poet who many people liked and admired. My objections to him are just that he isn't very good. He never wrote anything like that Schuyler line.  

Some people here in town organize a yearly reading of William Stafford, someone who lived in Kansas and was well liked.  Once again, why do people love this mediocre stuff?  


I've been reading some Ammons. Not my favorite, but kind of an interesting mishmash of prosaic and colloquial language with keen observation of nature. There is a fearlessness I like, in that he is not trying to prove he is a great poet with every line or even every poem. "Corson's Inlet" is a wonderful poem.    

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