Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

2/11/2005

"D00d, Modernism Sux" redux

This time it's from a much bigger fish, our current poet laureate of America, Ted Kooser...from an excerpt from his Poetry Home Repair Manual:

A lot of this resistance to poetry is to be blamed on poets. Some go out of their way to make their poems difficult if not downright discouraging, because diffi cult poems are what they think they’re expected to write to advance their careers. They know it’s the professional interpreters of poetry—book reviewers, professional literary critics—who most often establish a poet’s reputation, and that those interpreters are attracted to poems that offer opportunities to show off their skills at interpretation. A poet who writes poetry that doesn’t require explanation, who writes clear and accessible poems, is of little use to critics building their own careers as interpreters. But a clear and accessible poem can be of use to an everyday reader.


Btw, who is this "everyday reader"? Btw, he actually references "beret-wearing poets" later in this little snippet as a kind of anti-cultural touchstone. Super.

4 Comments:

At 2/16/2005 08:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the modern reader. I am also the market, a Yeti, and the Market.

After all the study of art I have put into, all the criticism I have read I have come to a single conclusion about what makes a good poem:

"It is fun to read."

That is the Maxwell Law of Poetry. All other laws are there to get to this one truth.

Oh, the same goes for criticism, too. Delany for instance writes criticism that is fun to read so there's that.

Fred

 
At 2/22/2005 10:25:00 AM, Blogger michael said...

this whole argument is so boilerplate it's the pobiz equiv of redassed-baboon political natter. likewise, not containing a jot of thought.

try a new continuum: mystery-to-banality.

those who urge banality are the true destroyers.

 
At 2/22/2005 12:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael. Your comment illuminates.

The oversimplification is truly stifiling. Adding that the concept of being able to TELL someone how to do their art is really lame. Thanks for the light.

Your blogger link is broken.

 
At 3/01/2005 02:32:00 PM, Blogger haddayr said...

You'll take my beret when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!

 

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