5 may. 2005

I could write a post every day just pointing to things I disagree with in Silliman's blog. I agree with him about 90% of the time, but there's always that other 10%. He writes a lot, so I wouldn't have any problem being a full-time Silliman refuter. I could find faulty sentences and ideas that could have been phrased better.

His problem is not, however, his dislike of Billy Collins, his lack of attention to poetry "itself," or his use of the SoQ label. He didn't invent the dichotomy. It's not his fault that so much of mainstream poetry is crap.

3 comentarios:

James dijo...

The only dichotomy which seems to me to have any integrity or intellectual honesty is "stuff I like" vs "stuff I don't like".

OTOH, I agree there is a wealth of stuff out there many (maybe most) will agree is crap. "It takes a heap o' living to make a house a home", as an obvious example.

Seems to me the challenge is to avoid easy markers, such as "SoQ" or "sentimentality" to dismiss such work.

Jonathan dijo...


How about "crap" as an easy marker? Avoiding the available terminology doesn't really solve the problem. Is
"sentimental kitsch" a precise term (it could be) or a lazy marker?

There is plenty of things I don't like that I would never say are crap. I might even like some crap as well. To say "I don't like Milton" is not at all the same thing as saying Milton is crap.

Liking or disliking has no integrity at all. It is meaningless that I dislike the work of many great poets. It is arrogant to say my dislike for a great poet has any weight at all.

I really don't mean to be so hard on my commenters. All I'm saying is, bring your best argument to Bemsha Swing.

James dijo...

Ah - I was bringing the synopsis rather than the full argument.

Guess my point is that, often with RS when he talks about SoQ, he's talking about people whose verse he doesn't like.

As for "crap", I was just picking up your use of the word in your entry. Later on, perhaps, we may endeavor to be more precise. Gradations of dung, as it were.