29 ago. 2006

Once you tell your students that any poem can be about poetry itself, then they go through a period of reading this way excessively, making any poem "metapoetic" even when it's really NOT. Yet this stage of reading is necessary. In other words, you have to have gone through this stage at some point. When you come out the other side... you recognize the difference between forcing the metapoetic reading and listening to what the poem might have to say about itself.

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The sun down, the ease, the speed of the night
chill make it seem in the nature of things to be cold...

Reading these lines by Bronk it is impossible not to think of the great Steven Wallace.

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We accept deritativeness in others because we are derivative ourselves. Still, I wonder whether we're not too tolerant, sometimes. There's that polite fiction of not mentioning the obvious source of the derivation, pretending that the poet has any originality at all.

3 comentarios:

Robert dijo...

How do you describe the difference between being derivative and following in a tradition? All poetry that matters builds somehow upon a tradition; no art exists in a vacuum. I think outright plagiarism is easy enough to define. I suppose, then, that whether something furthers the tradition or is simply derivative depends on whether or not the course or cause of that tradition is enhanced and moved along by the work -- or if it simply echoes in an empty way...

James dijo...

Do you mean Wallace Stevens?

Jonathan dijo...

I'm referring to work that blatantly uses the identifying trademarks of a particular poet. Whether it be Steven Wallace or Carlos William Carlos. The things that make a poem clearly identifiable as that of its author. Bronk's Stevensianism is one example.