20 jul. 2004

De gustibus non est disputandum. Yeah, right. Like there's anything else worth
arguing about? One man's meat is another's poison. So I guess my aversion to
arsenic is just a personal preference of mine. I happen to not to like it, but for you, it might
come in handy!

Taste seems a wholly inadequate explanation for my dismissal of that Fred Turner
poem I quoted here a few posts ago. That is to say, it doesn't make sense to say
"Here is something not to my taste" in a case like this. Why not? The point has
to be stronger, and not only because of the political sentiments.

I take such a poem to be a crime against poetry itself.

It's like walking into a bizarro universe. If this is poetry, then everything I know about poetry
is dead wrong. Not only that, but Turner has to know it too. He has earned too many "literary honors"
for us to plead ignorance of the law on his behalf.

I know this sounds rather extreme. Let's contrast it to a case in which taste might
apply. If I said: "I prefer Beckett's "Ill seen ill said" to his "Company" and gave my reasons
why, we might have a nice discussion, even if we ended up disagreeing. That might be
a question of "taste." Suppose I say Gustaf Sobin is over-written and pretentious, and you
defend him: that also might be a similar question.

If you like the Turner poem, you should be able to defend your so called "taste."
Not only that, but you have the obligation to defend it. You can't just say, "De gustibus..."
or "A chacun son goût." That is a cop out.