3 nov. 2005

Another question for Kasey at Limetree on Dead Kitten Poetics. Is craft an "alibi" only when we use it to dismiss a poem we don't like, or is it also a similarly suspect move when we use judgments about craft in a positive sense for what we do in fact like? It seems to be that if we don't really know what we're talking about when we talk about craft (a debatable point, which is why we're debating it), this might also apply to positive valorations of craft or technique.

That is, if you say "Jonathan doesn't like that Mary Oliver poem, so he projects his dislike onto the poem's technique, which is actually unobjectionable," could you also say, "Well, Jonathan likes that Creeley poem, and gives answers pertaining to technique or craft as his reasons, but the real reasons are elsewhere." If so, what are those other reasons? Am I deluding myself in valuing WCW or Creeley or Niedecker for their command of language and rhythm. I don't think so. Nor am I deluding myself (I think) when I affirm that Mary Oliver doesn't have that kind of command or technical competence.

2 comentarios:

Thomas Basbøll dijo...

Good question.

I wonder if "command of language and rhythm" would keep you from writing a poem about how you did the right with a dead animal (or whatever) just as people who "know how to handle themselves" know who to pick a fight with. That is, does Oliver's selection of material display her lack of command, just as the poem she finally shapes that material into displays it.

Jonathan dijo...