11 nov. 2004

I studied with Karl Shapiro, whom Nick mentions today, with a link over to the Mark Wood's fabulously informative blog. Shapiro has one of the best "homosexual panic" poems, "On Learning that your Favorite Poet is a Homosexual." He used to infuriate people by giving public lectures against the very idea of creative writing programs, while teaching in a creative writing program. He was basically telling his own MFA students to go to hell. Not a particularly nice man. His prose poems of The Bourgeois Poet are expressive of a cultural moment in the 1960s when the literary establishment had to react to the Beat Generation and its youth-culture aftermath. Shapiro championed Henry Miller and WCW, wrote the hilarious prose-poem "Lower the Standards, That's My Motto." He attacked Pound and McKuen. A double-voiced discourse in books like In Defense of Ignorance. Defending "ignorance" against the culture-poems of Eliot and Pound, yet wanting to defend the barriers against the barbarians.

There was a notorious lawsuit, when someone reported mistakenly that KS was dead when he wasn't.

He was part of that Lowell/Jarrell/Berryman/Schwartz generation. Nobody reads these poets anymore, except for Lowell. Schwartz survives in biographies and novelizations (Atlas, Bellow), and his connection to the New York intellectuals. Jarrell is known for his criticism. Berryman survives in Henry Gould's echoes, almost nowhere else.

He gave me my first and only B in college.

1 comentario:

Robert Stone dijo...

You might be interested to read my poem from 1962 titled "On Hearing Karl Shapiro Read From The Bourgeois Poet." In ended a review of his reading the unpublished poems in Nashville Tennessee in 1962.