5 oct. 2006

The best poets whom I, personally, have little use for, include

Browning. Hopkins. Duncan, Olson. Graham. Tennyson. Auden. Larkin. Alberti. Bonnefoy. Lowell.

I mean this literally. I have little use for them; they don't offer me very much.

This also implies that I recognize, in some abstract way, that they are valuable writers. Just not for me, right now. I like Jorie Graham's poetry when I am not in the act of reading it. That is, I think it's great that there is a poet like that. When I try to read her, though, I can't stand it. I find her verbose and pretentious, rhythmically uninspired. Yet after a period of not reading the illusion returns: that she is an excellent poet whom I should be reading.

There are others I do have a use for, but with whom I'm still struggling a bit. Char. Rilke.

There is another category of poets whom I did read exhaustively at one tiime and don't need to read any more. That is, there is no compulsion to re-read them, even though they are among my favorite poets. I have internalized what it is they were supposed to teach me. William Bronk, for example.

If you took away one poet, would poetry be the same?

3 comentarios:

Daniel Plate dijo...

Hi. New caller. What do you mean by "use"?

Robert dijo...

I think Hopkins has a lot to offer. What's the strugle with Rilke?

Julie Choffel dijo...

I always find it bizaare that I have no "mental place" (as I think of "use") for the work of certain poets at certain times, since I'll often return to those poets later and discover that their work is suddenly significant to me. As if it's about my poetry readiness. But then, there are a few I never come around to, like Berryman. Ugh. I try to keep my reading open and adaptive, and still, ugh.