William Logan, in late 2006, posted on PoetryFoundation.org his viewpoints on the state of poetry. One passage has caught my eye:
Poets who write for awards are idiots. Poets who want awards are idiots. Look at the Pulitzers from the thirties: Conrad Aiken, Robert Frost, George Dillon, Archibald MacLeish, Robert Hillyer, Audrey Wurdemann, Robert P. Tristram Coffin, Robert Frost (again), Marya Zaturenska, John Gould Fletcher. One poet of the first rank, two or three of the third, and then oblivion. You don’t see Pound or Eliot or Stevens or Moore or Williams. If you think the poets awarded the prize in the nineties will fair better, think again.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t accept awards. It’s rude not to accept something people give you. Perhaps every award should be replaced with a saguaro cactus.
The rest of Logan's post is also enlightening.
His concludes his post with this emotional outburst:
My last words on poetry:
I don’t. I don’t! I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
William Logan Revisited
Posted by Jennifer at 7:15 PM
Labels: Can Poetry Matter, Modern Poetry, Po-biz
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