22 feb. 2004

Silliman's Blog

"In theory, New York School poets don’t, or didn’t, make this kind of dramatic use of the ear in the poem. In addition, there were only a few instances of NY School writing that used such great leaps from image to image, thought to thought, as this – some pieces in Ashbery’s Tennis Court Oath, Koch’s process driven When the Sun Tries to Go On & Berrigan’s similarly programmatic Sonnets, none of which looked at how architecturally those gaps look when used in a small space like these eleven lines. Ceravolo was doing something completely new & at the time it was all I could do just to recognize that fact."

You can't generalize about how New York poets don't do certain things, and then give super prominent examples of how they do exactly those same things. I'm sure I could come up with other examples. In theory. Yes, nobody else has Ceravolo's exact style: he is original, but in a way deeply ensconced in NY School poetics. Completely "original" but not "completely new." I don't mean to split hairs. It is Ron, I think, who often makes these kind of over-subtle judgments that don't really stand close scrutiny: "No other American poet combines ornithological terminology with surrealism in this exact way."