23 mar. 2006

From Jordan, an uncharacterstically enraged post. I'm glad I'm not the only one taken to fits of pique: I am grasping to think of a more horrifying document of poetic arrogance than Christian Wiman's editorial in the March issue of Poetry. Michael Dumanis's sniveling journal for the magazine's website in which he refers with amazement that a student of his, not one of the better ones, actually had an insight -- less hateful than this.

Here's a choice bit from Wiman's foul pen:

"Not that we say any of this in our responses to the last group, of course. No, that would be presumptuous; we fall back on the generic language of rejection. "We have been very glad to read these poems," we say, by which we mean that it is a good thing for survivors to send such work along to editors, because who knows what might happen, and it is a good thing for us to have our hopes awoken, our complacencies tested. "These poems have moved us," we say, meaning the blunt fact of them, the failure of them [emphasis Jordan Davis], the reminder they give of how much human endeavor, in human terms, comes to nought. "But we're not going to be able to use the poems at this time," we conclude, and mean exactly that, for who knows, perhaps one of these manuscripts will not be burned or buried but instead preserved, passed along to the poet's children, then to his children's children. Perhaps one of these very bundles will make its way into our offices again in a hundred years, when we shall all be changed."