15 feb. 2006

If the economy of poetry is an economy of scarcity, the scarcity in question is not that of poetry or poets, but of serious critical attention. Imagine being a poet of 40 years old (or 60!) with a serious body of work, but maybe you've only had a few casual book reviews of your work. The Spanish scene is notable for its critical indigence. I think we do a little better here, but still leave much in the inkwell. Where are the first-rate critical essays about Kenneth Koch? Who, aside from Alice Notley, has written intelligently about Ron Padgett?

Maybe you'll say criticism is not that important. I disagree. It provides the best insight into what actually happens when a really good reader reads. It is a documentation of poetry in action, your poem in my mind.

As is often the case, the critic might feel inadequate. There might be others more capable of writing the critical piece I am writing. Those who are more capable, however, don't always step up to the plate.

1 comentario:

Valerie dijo...

As an English major as a school that focuses primarily on Criticism (not writing) this was an interesting post to read. I had an English prof last year who told us that if we could find a good work that didn't already have an entire body of work written on it, if we could find a book that had yet to be critically reviewed, we'd have found a treasure. (He himself having written several critical pieces on Egyptian/Sudanese books that were previously unknown.)