6 sept. 2006

Next time some suit in a high-rise lectures to you about how poets are "out of touch with reality."

Next time someone writes an ignorant article about how TS Eliot made poetry popular, but that poetry lost its popularity again after World War II (Ginsberg, anyone?)

Next time an ex-corporate vice-president and present Bush administration official reads his iambs to you, making sure to thump them out in a sing-song voice.

Next time someone tells you how the factory workers in the Victorian age sang Tennyson in chorus.

Next time someone tells you how he memorized "The Cremation of Sam McGee."

Next time someone cites a blurb from Oprah's magazine on the Diane Rehm show.

Next time someone tells you how poetry should be more "accessible to the general public."

Next time Terry Gross interviews Billy Collins, Robert Pinky, or Tom Arnold.

Next time the wife of a Republican president holds an event to promote "literacy."

Next time someone tells you it's the fault of the English Professors, the Spanish professors, the postmodernists, Derrida and Foucault, and Zizek of course.

Next time someone say, "I saw a poem I liked in the New Yorker."

Next time Garrison Keillor features the whitest, squarest music on Prarie Home Companion or writes a humor piece for the New Yorker, and then publishes another anthology of darned good, above-average poems.

Next time Billy Collins publishes an anthology of honesttogodprettydarnedgood, above-average poems.

Next time someone writes about Collins in the New York Times Book Review, saying how, yes, he's not very deep, but we like him anyway.

Next time David Lehman edits an anthology of poems and diagnoses the situation of poetry in whatever year it happens to be.

Next time someone diagnoses "the situation of poetry" in earnest tones.

Next time someone cites in earnest tones some Republican suit's diagnosis of the situation of poetry, the crisis of poetry, how nobody reads poetry anymore.

Next time poetry "makes the news."

Next time someone says that television did poetry in.

Next time someone say language poetry is too "academic," and the person saying it is herself and academic or the suit in the skyscraper mentioned above.

Next time someone says, "Ah, Lorca, yes the duende!"

Next time someone says that rock music did poetry in.

Next time someone says our true poetry is in the lyrics to rock songs, or in hip-hop, or in advertising.

Next time someone donates millions to promote poetry, or gives the genius award to a poet.

Next time someone writes an article in Harper's magazine or The Atlantic Monthly about how James Joyce ruined fiction.

Next time someone writes an article in Harper's magazine or The Atlantic Monthly about how the "postmodernists" ruined fiction.

Next time someone writes an article condemning flarf, language poetry, or postmodernism.

Next time someone says there are too many poets.

Next time someone says that poetry isn't as good as it used to be when it was better than it is now.

Next time someone who can't name a living poet writes an article about how he can't name a living poet.

Next time someone who can't name a living poet writes an article about how dull contemporary poetry is.

Next time someone tells you about a thoughtful article s/he just read about how dull contemporary poetry is, written by a person who can't name a living poet.

Next time someone says, "You can't make a living as a poet."

Next time someone tell you the problem with poetry is it's too hard, too intellectual, too elitist.

Next time Stephen King says the problem with the literary world is that genre fiction doesn't get enough respect.

Next time someone asks "I used to read poetry in college, but who are the poets of today?"

Next time Dave Barry's blog features some amusing item he found on the internet.

Next time someone calls you "politically correct."

Next time someone points out, "Only poets buy books of poetry."

Next time someone points out to you that, "Poets never buy books of poetry."

Next time someone calls Donald Hall, "one of our leading poets."

Next time someone writes an article about the decline of the language, citing George Orwell or Mencken. (In Harper's or The Atlantic.)

Next time someone writes a book adducing hard scientific evidence for the superiority of middle-brow culture and the validity of conventional gender stereotypes.

Next time Silliman employs a superlative.

Next time Henry Gould invokes the authority of a Russian poet.

Next time one of us complains about any of these things happening...

Next time a cartoon appears in the New Yorker, featuring two dogs in a bar, a man on a psychiatrist's couch, a man being berated by his boss (who's sitting behind a huge desk), a man giving his excuse to a judge in a courtroom, a dog on an analyst's couch, a man on a desert island, a boring middle-aged couple sitting on a couch making droll observations, one fuzzy guy saying something incongruous to another fuzzy guy, one hip well-dressed woman at a cafe telling something amusing to another well-dressed woman, or a shabby couple's living room with odd-looking dogs and cats.

Next time a poem appears in the New Yorker amid these cartoons, featuring a private epiphany and some water-imagery (nod to Chas. Bernstein here).

Next time someone gripes to you about The Poetry Foundation or Poetry Magazine or Poets & Writers or about anything starting with a "P."

Next time any one of these rare and noteworthy events happens to occur, make sure to let me know right away. I'll write about it here on the blog.

9 comentarios:

Tom Beckett dijo...

bravo.

John Gallaher dijo...

You'll end up writing a lot on your blog, then.

C. Dale dijo...

Yes, A LOT!

shanna dijo...

hee ('cept the bit about stephen king!)

Robert dijo...

Brilliant!

Bob dijo...

Did my head good!

Henry Gould dijo...

"Two Romes have fallen. The third stands. And there will not be a fourth."

- the monk Filofey to Grand Duke Vasilii III, 1510

Clarissa dijo...

It's 3 am and you just made me choke with laughter with this post.

Brilliant.

Jonathan dijo...

I forget I even wrote this. How did you even find it?