Anonymous #1 said… [May 26, 2008 8:29 PM]
Anyone writing any poetry here?
I thought not.
Anonymous #2 said... [May 26, 2008 8:52 PM]
If you were a poet looking for life insurance and you decided to go for a policy that had been written by a poet, do you think you could have spotted Wallace Stevens at Hartford?
Anonymous #3 said... [May 27, 2008 12:58 PM]
"Anyone writing any poetry here?
I thought not."
This sums up the stupidity of a certain kind of 'poet' offended by any machinations in the poetry world which don't boil down to 'writing poetry,' as if everything is OK as long there are great assembly lines 'writing poetry.'
According to this silliness, 'writing poetry,' is the only criterion necessary.
Thinking what it means to 'write poetry' in a wider context is a waste of time. We should just be 'writing poetry.'
There is indeed truth to the remark: "I thought not."
This opinion contains no thought.
Christopher Woodman said... [May 27, 2008 11:59 PM--This is an edited version]
It's like all attacks on orthodoxy. If a criticism contradicts a tenet of faith it's an invalid criticism.
If the tenet of faith is that guns make you free, then guns are a non-negotiable matter. If it's a tenet of faith that sex is bad then sex-education is a non-negotiable matter. If it's a tenet of faith that men have a much higher sex drive than women, as it is in a great many cultures in the world today, including where I live, and that true men are truly driven by sex, then you get boys taken by their fathers to brothels at 14 while the mothers wait at home with the daughters until they can be married off as pure virgins--and the crowning irony of that absurd tenet of faith is that in addition to brothels on every street corner you get men who are butterflies and women who run the whole show!
The tenet of faith in American poetry is that the true poet is the product of not just higher but higher and higher and even higher "assembly lines," and that the more a poet pays for it the more right he or she has to be truly successful in it.
Anyone who suggests that the poets, critics, editors or publishers who are running this extravagant industry are self-interested, or even, God-forbid, in it for profit or life insurance, is considered not a real poet. Indeed, I myself am mocked as a jealous loser and amateur all the time, and every word I speak is dismissed as “the product of a willful misunderstanding of the process of editing and publishing poetry!”
And you know who said that? A famous contemporary poetry “critic.”
And you know where? In Poets & Writers Magazine, the bastion of our contemporary faith in exactly what sort of training you need to become a poet in America today, plus the retreats, conferences, camps, travel groups, summers abroad in castles and wine tastings and weekends you have to attend, and what they cost.
But you say you think the son should at least wash the dishes before he goes out to the brothel at 14 with his father?
Just ask the mother for an answer to even that question. "You must be joking," she’ll reply. "Any true mother would keep her daughter carefully cleaning as well as clean at home so she can attract a true man for a husband!"
So that's a monstrous problem, both for their sex and our poetry.
Yes indeed, tenets of faith always polarize, always lead to intolerance, always lead to abuse.
There's nothing wrong with virginity per se, of course there isn't, any more than there's anything wrong with sex--but oh the heart-ache when too much stock is placed in either!
There's nothing wrong with training poets either, even in castles, it's just when you make a religion out of it, install priests at all the altars, and charge an entrance fee not only to get into church but heaven!
And, of course, excommunicate those who say it ain't necessarily so!