14 mar. 2006

Try to make a list of the 100 American poets you love best, in exact order.

Ok. Have you tried? It's impossible. You know Ezra Pound should be higher than #19. Ceravolo is in 6th place, but is this right? How can he beat out H.D.? The list folds in on itself endlessly. Is Frost #5 or #35? You dislike certain aspects of Eliot, Moore. Where does Frank Lima figure? What are the dimensions of your ignorance. Sorry, Robert Duncan, you are #89, right after #88, Robert Lowell. Roethke hovers in the mid thirties. Where do you place Jarnot and Gardner? Berrigan? Ron Padgett? Charles Olson? Schuyler? Bronk? Plath? What about the poets you are supposed to love, but don't?

There's no doubt about number one, however. It's Frank O'Hara.

5 comentarios:

Henry Gould dijo...

Jonathan, you are a mathematicien manque. That's a good sign in a poet, I'd say.

Maybe you should work with the number 1000, and devise a different kind of ranking system - say, something including random, complex &/or irrational numbers.

Plus: there's no accounting for taste.

Or subjectivity. It's a wilderness in there.

Jonathan dijo...

There's nothing particularly mathematical here, HG, (alias #47). it's just a list.

Henry Gould dijo...

"It's just a list." That's what the Assyrians said. Then the Babylonians came along and took the list & invented the abacus. Bye-bye Assyria.

GJPW dijo...

John Wieners somewhere in the top ten (on my list).


Bob dijo...

You *really* need a list ranking poets not in order of whom you like best but about whom you are most ambivalent.

And: Would Frank O'Hara be on THAT list?