21 jul. 2005

Jordan on Glûck. Isn't the problem here a certain tone-deafness? Both the 3rd person narrator and the Greek Goddess Demeter speak in a stiff, hyper-literary "poetic diction." Yet the reference to a "politician" rings totally false. You can't imagine anyone saying these lines. The language is tired. "wandering the earth." "She has no wish / to continue as the source of life." "Tell me, how can I endure the earth." Yet this diction is forced to do all the poetic heavy lifting. Glück has lost her ear for verse rhythms and the images are out of focus.

5 comentarios:

shanna dijo...

I liked The Wild Iris collection quite a bit (about 10 yrs ago) but then read Ararat hoping for more of the same. Then gave up.

Reading aloud poems with language like what you've highlighted makes me feel totally silly. It definitely feels unnatural to me, but not in the "ooh, what is this new tingly sensation" way.

Pamela dijo...

If there is stilted/unnatural diction in a poem, it at least ought to advance the poem--and also sound good. This is too abstract and too flat. The difference in musicality between this poem and "Mock Orange" is huge.

Jordan dijo...

I didn't think that was so bad about the politician-in-the-abstract. How would you have put it? (Not a fair question, I realize, since you wouldn't have written this poem...)

Jonathan dijo...

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I would have at least substituted the word "Sophist" for politiician. Or maybe Rhapsode? Keep it in the ambience of Ancient Greece.

Jonathan dijo...

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What I'm saying, a better poet would have known to be more self-aware about putting a "politician" in a mythic context. There's an anachronism, which is fine if you think the poet means it be be anachronistic. Otherwise....