12 oct. 2005

It's feast or famine. I got four or five submissions today.

As for whether you're quietude or post-avant, Laurel Snyder, a simple test is whether you prefer

Norman Dubie, C.K. Williams, Donald Hall, Mary Oliver, Sandra Gilbert, James Dickey, Howard Moss, Robert Pinsky, Irving Feldman, Charles Wright, Charles Simic...

or

Clark Coolidge, Susan Howe, Tony Towle, Bernadette Mayer, Ronald Johnson, Jess Mynes, Nada Gordon, Lisa Jarnot...

Most people, if they've read contemporary poetry at all, will have a strong inclination toward one or the other side. If you like poets on both lists equally, then you are a true eclectic. There is no cure, unfortunately. The symptoms can be managed to maintain a good quality of life.

What I'm suggesting is that these are more or less coherent views of the world. The person who feels comfortable in one or the otherr world will feel his or her view to be coherent, to hold together in a way that makes sense. There will be some overlap and slippage. I might like 20% of poets on a hypothetical list of quietudinous poets, and disiike 40% of poets I should like, but I am still likely to have a strong, quantifiable leaning in one direction or the other.

Would you rather inherit a complete set of Sulfur or Ploughshares?

12 comentarios:

Mike H dijo...

Maybe its beside the point (and partly one's own fault) but I think many poets, especially young poets, may not have been exposed to Mayer, Jarnot, Coolidge etc. I had to go well beyond anthologies edited by A. Poulin from my English courses to find out these people existed. The work of much the latter group of poets is much less "available" (retail, library-wise) than the former.

Does "liking" something really make you anything other than just somebody who likes something?

Joseph Duemer dijo...

I want to save Norman Dubie & C.K. Williams from the first list, but one will be better for not reading the others on the first list & I really fail to understand Clark Coolidge, though I'm down with Howe, Mayer (love her!) & Johnson, with whom I studied briefly when I was very young. But then I also have a weak spot for Plath, Sexton, Lowell & Berryman, which no doubt puts me beyond anything like respectable post-avant status. Afterthought: How might be the most intellectually challenging poet since Eliot. It's just that Eliot no longer seems challenging because we've had going-on-100-years to figure out what he was doing.

Joseph Duemer dijo...

I meant to say HOWE above, not How.

Laurel dijo...

Yeah... see, I'm screwed. I want a few from list A, a few from list B, and to ignore the rest....

Lyle Daggett dijo...

I don't prefer any of the poets on either of the lists. The two lists together (considered as types of poetry) constitute a very narrow range of the poetry that exists in the world. The two lists here strike me more as English department faculties than lists of poets. Not that I have anything against professors as such.

My list of poets whose work I strongly prefer would include the following:

Thomas McGrath, Sharon Doubiago, Federico Garcia Lorca, Tomas Transtromer, Kenneth Rexroth, Nancy Morejon, Tu Fu, Yosano Akiko, Sappho, Basho, Ibn Hazm, Miroslav Holub, Anuradha Mahapatra, Etheridge Knight, Joy Harjo, Anya Achtenberg, Janice Mirikitani, Rene Depestre, Yannis Ritsos, Nazim Hikmet, Audre Lorde, Otto Rene Castillo, Daisy Zamora, Anna Swir, Paul Eluard ...

What kind are these?

Whimsy dijo...

Goodness.

Where do you put Mark McMorris, Olena K. Davis, Mary Jo Bang, Dean Young, Albert Goldbarth, Brenda Hillman, Jane Mead, John Poch, Matthew Rohrer, Timothy Liu, ...

I suppose that's why some of us think the dichotomy is silly.

Jonathan dijo...

I put most of them in Quietude. Except for the ones I haven't heard of. There are a few who try to incorporate some Ashbery influence, but that doesn't save them.

Whimsy dijo...

Your argument has a certain Orwellian circularity. I'll have more to say on that at my place.

Jonathan dijo...

You asked where I'd put them, and I answered. But maybe your question was rhetorical.

Whimsy dijo...

No, it was ironic. Or perhaps, Danish.

Whimsy dijo...

By which I mean: there are two kinds of people: those who dichotomize and those who don't.

Archambeau dijo...

Man. Trying to understand poetry with a dichotomy is like trying to play flight of the bumblebee on a bassoon with only two fingers. It took me weeks to figure out how!

Does anyone remember that scene from the Blues Brothers when the band pulls in to some divey roadhouse in downstate Illinois, and asks about the type of music they play? "Oh, we have both kinds," says the proprietress, "Country andWestern..."