27/4/2006

U of Chicago P may be interested in my Lorca book. That gives me some motivation to write it.

I decided I was an article person, not a book person, a few months ago. Now I have decided I am a book person. I'm going to write it as a book, in Chicago style manual style.
Kent Johnson really is insane, not to mention homophobic. He argues (in a comment box at Kasey's blog) that in the good old days the virile working class militants would enjoy beating up "aesthetes." Well, yes. There really is a tradition of sending, or threatening to send, "aesthetes" and queers to the re-education camps. I just didn't know anyone was nostalgic for that particular totalitarian tradtiion, and would openly admit it to these kind of violent Stalinist fantasies of beating up those "artistic" types.

26/4/2006

I've finished the NEH proposal, "Apocryphal Lorca." Penultimate draft, taking me most of the day. All I have now is bibliography to do. Deadline is Monday. I'm surprised others are not as in love with this project as I am. Ah well... Why should they be?
My favorite cliché of cultural studies: it is no accident/coincidence that... it cannot be coincidental that... It cannot be a coincidence that... it is surely no coincidence that...

Useful for asserting a weak or unproven connection between two simultaneous phenomena. The rhetorical structure of the phrase commands assent, does the work of actually demonstrating that there is a connection.

Related: "at the very moment when.... "

This also creates a spurious sense of things being connected in time and thus causally correlated, when they may or may not be.

25/4/2006

There is a common theme running through reception to certain movements. Surrealism, Language Poetry, and Flarf come to mind. The idea is that critical response becomes impossible because the methods used to produce the texts rule out aesthetic response. Whether it be automatic writing, in the case of the surrealists, or google sculpting, in the case of flarf. The claim is made that nobody can tell good automatic writing from bad, a good flarf poem from a bad, etc...

Then a few things start to happen. People do make aesthetic judgments even in these areas. Although the practioners of any particular style aren't that interested in drawing attention to the worst manifestations, a sorting-out process does indeed take place. We no longer think Breton's poetry is unjudgeable in any meaningful sense.

Still, that initial suspension of judgment, while threatening to some, is also salutary. I want to see what someone is doing for a little while before I start assigning it a rank.
Stephen Baraban's new blog The Earth With A City In Her Hair , opens with some comments about Bernadette's epigrams.
Everything is socially constructed, even scientific facts. But there is a large category of things that are socially constructed only in a trivial sense. The boiling point of water is socially constructed in the the trivial sense that the concept of a temperature scale in which the boiling of water is a significant fact would not exist at all without human beings. We can say water boils at the same temperature in every culture (putting aside differences in elevation) but that their might be different temperature scales (Fahrenheit vs. Centigrade). By the same token, there are socially constructed facts whose empirical base seems trivial, i.e., non-meaningful.

Everyone is a social-constructionist and a scientific realist as well. That is, everyone recognizes the difference between two kinds of interest. Sometimes we get confused though.
On The Social Construction of Tuesday

Tuesday is socially constructed, conventional. It does not exist in nature, apart from human culture and society. It has no essence; it is not a thing-in-itself. Yet the statement "Today is Tuesday" seems an incontrovertible fact (if it in fact is Tuesday). It also seems uncontroversial to say that Tuesday is tranlated as "martes" or "mardi," etc...

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Maybe it's just a simple demonstration that quite a bit of our reality is socially constructed. I've never understood the entrenched resistance to this idea. The idea that reality is constructed doesn't put us in some Alice in Wonderland world: it puts us squarely in our own world. It doesn't even eliminate normal notions of truth.

Almost everything we study in the humanities is socially constructed. That's almost the definition of the humanities: study of the man-made world of culture. All the ways anyone makes sense of the world are always based in human culture. Not just Tuesday, but Thursday too! Within this study there are still empirical questions, but the overall framework must be hermeneutical, not empiricist. Empirical questions are usually trivial (What is Sam Beckett's real birthday?). The reason why we want to know this is not empirically based even. We have decided as a culture that someone's birthday is significant, the particular Tuesday or Thursday or April or May that someone's birth fall on. We want to commemorate that day, recognize it as a fact. it is only this that makes an empirical fact non-trivial, i.e., enfused with significance.

The meanings and significances of works of literature fall wholly into the socially-constructed realm too. That doesn't mean I can't be right and you wrong. What it means is that there can be no appeal to anything outside of culture. (This is just literary theory 101)

20/4/2006

What we know about ourselves:

We are geniuses, neglected by others. No praise is ever high enough.

AND

We are frauds. All praise we get is on false pretences. The one who praises me is my friend, or has low standards, or is only being nice not to hurt my feelings.

There is no happy medium between these two self-perceptions; instead, they are at constant war.

19/4/2006

Right now my problem is with inert poems. Poems that float a half-cute line or semi-relatable experience, and are done. No crazy language no wiggly perception nothing unknown. Nobody needs poems that don't do anything. I get no culture ruboff, no actual sharing in someone else's experience, no insight, nothing..

Me neither. It's that ideal of "competence."
Langston Hughes' translation of Lorca's "Romancero gitano" can be found here. It isn't in the Hughes Collected Works, because apparently they couldn't get permission to reprint it. You can find "Blood Wedding," however, in Volume 16 along with some translations of Nicolás Guillén.

This is still relatively early in the Lorca-in-English chronology (1951). The Spender/Gili volume is from 39. Humphries' "The Poet in New York" is from 1940. Interesting fact: this bilingual edition is actually the first edition of Lorca's book in any language. It certainly wasn't going to appear in Franco Spain.

The first mini-burst of Lorca translation takes place in the mid-50s. That New Directions Selected Lorca is from '55. (In paper since '61). That book was in my parents' house as I was growing up. It must have been in the house of many educated people in the 1970s. I have the 24th printing myself. The book is still in print: they tacked on a preface by Merwin in 2005 and changed the cover, but it's basically the same book: in print continuously for 51 years and counting. It's got legs. How many copies is that? How many copies of "Waiting for Godot" has Grove Press sold over the years? What was the best selling novel of 1955 in the US? Has the Selected Lorca outsold that novel, from a longitudinal perspective? I'd bet it has. (Bourdieu makes this point about Godot. )
They had a story on Morning Edition this morning about a woman named AJ who has a total recall of all the days of her life. I'm surprised they didn't mention Borges' story "Funes el memorioso." This has been imagined in literature before it occured in life.

18/4/2006

I've been accepted by No Tell Motel. That's pretty cool. Look for me there in July. Still waiting to hear from a few other places.

16/4/2006

Ten pages of Jimmy Schuyler in the Oxford Book of American poetry. Too much or too little? I'm sure you know what I think. If it were the right 10 pages, on the other hand, it might be perfect.

William Logan reviews this volume in the New York Times, complaining about these ten pages--too much for him, when Jarrell only gets five. He scores some points against Lehman, that's true. He is right about 70% of the time, which makes him seem reasonable. He complains about the scanty Pound and Williams, for example. But he fails to recognize Frank O'Hara as the central figure of our time.

15/4/2006

When certain religious authorities talk about their love of "objective truth," I have to laugh. What could be more historically contingent, more relativistic, than religion? What religion you are depends on where and when you were born and who your parents are. Or else it depends on some highly subjective personal search. Either way, it doesn't have anything to do with objective truth. Why don't we argue about the existence of the ancient Norse gods? I cannot disprove that Thor exists, certainly, nor can anyone prove that he does exist. There are no worshipers of Odin and Thor any more, because the social structure that embodied that belief system is no more. It has nothing to do with any truth claims about these deities.

Religion is the best illustration that truth is relative, that what you consider to be true depends on your standpoint, historical and personal. Religion was always already postmodern.

14/4/2006

What poet is not a translator? That's not a rhetorical question, though it could be. That is, what poet does not see translation as a necessary part of "poet training" ? If you made two lists, one of poets who have done some translation and another of ones who haven't, what would you find? I personally find it hard to think that anyone wouldn't believe that translation was as necessary as breathing, yet many of my favorite poets haven't done much if any of it either. And of course poets I don't care for have translated too.
Here's the way I am: all the ideas occur to me virtually simultaneously, or in rapid succession. But I cannot possibly keep up with them all. The entire book took shape in my head in a few days--after years of mulling things over, of course. It takes years of hard work to become an overnight success, as they say.
Before I know it's 5:30 and I haven't been out of the building all day. Blame it on Lorca.
I wrote an NEH grant proposal this morning. I wish I could just write the book as my full time job starting tomorrow.

13/4/2006

I believe the 20th century European poets most often translated into English are Lorca and Rilke. My criterion is number of separate editions in English. (We'll count Rilke's prose and Lorca's drama too.) Rilke probably has a few more in print right now.

Who do you think number 3 might be? I really don't know if there is a close 3rd. Celan? Machado?

UPDATE: here are some highly unscientific numbers from Amazon.

Rilke 743
Lorca 686
Machado 450
Jimenez 268
Pessoa 262
Celan 254
Breton 222
Bonnefoy !? 133
Apollinaire 121
Char 97
Aleixandre 91
Milosz 83
Mayakovsky 37
Cavafy 29
Akhmatova 18

These are just raw search numbers. I haven't gone through to eliminate works that aren't translations (monolingual editions in the original language or critical studies) or are duplicate editions. I searched under complete names to eliminate some noise from the sample. So far I am coming up with Machado as number 3. Let me know if you can think of a poet more translated than him. Remember: they most be European and Twentieth Century. If you know of more efficient ways of getting a measure of this, I would be very appreciative. Is there a woman poet from Europe translated more than Akhmatova? That would be good to know too. The list is very androcentric so far. I've also noticed translation of Lorca is pretty much a male-dominated field. I've only found two or three women who've done any Lorca translation at all.

European figures not of the 20th century:

Goethe 764
Homer 641
Baudelaire 488
Dante 448
Rimbaud 270

Others;

Neruda 528
Tu Fu 131
Vallejo 126
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 100
Basho 63
Li Po 18

Conclusion: translation magnifies the canon, magnifies canonicity itself. There are poets not translated at all, poets translated a tiny bit, and a very few poets translated over and over again. Any group underrepresented in the canon will be vastly more underrepresented in the "translation canon."

12/4/2006

The article has now morphed into a book. It is almost the perfect Comparative Literature Project, and who but me to write it? Who else has this combination: (1) specialized knowledge of Lorca, primary and secondary sources (2) knowledge of contemporary Am. poetry and poetics (3) translation theory??? There are more erudite Lorquistas than I: Andrew Anderson, Christopher Maurer, Luis Fernández Cifuentes. There are people who know American poetry better too, too numerous to name. There are those who have a more complete grasp of translation theory (Lawrence Venuti) or who are better translators. In fact, for any single aspect of this book, there is someone superior to me. What I might be able to do is to put it all together.

11/4/2006

I've got it: "Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch"

Update: Herb Levy notes that the word "apocryphal" is an anagram for "happy Lorca.'
What's great about that Ashbery translation is that it's both Baudelaire and Ashbery. It really does get at a particularly Baudelairean tone, as Henry eloquently explain in a comment below. Yet the poem can appear side by side with other JA poems and not be out of place. It's located at the exact point where the two styles meet. We might hypothesize what this point would look like before hand, but it's even better to have it. [Like O'Hara channeling Mayakovsky in a "A True Account of Talking to the Sun,"or Rilke in "Aus Einem April."] Schuyler's translation of a Dante sestina. Maybe Celan translating Dickinson would provide a similar pleasure (I haven't read his translations: I need someone to translate them back to English for me.) Pound and Li Po. Richard Howard doesn't do it for me. He is a poet, he is a fine translator of Roland Barthes, but I don't see that magical conjunction to two styles. It's a pretty rare event, in my view. That is, many translations are praised and read with profit, but when you really ask whether it is "poetry in English," you usually have to say no. Even Koch's Roussel doesn't do it for me. Lowell's imitations would be a good example if I liked Lowell. Since I don't appreciate his style, I can't appreciate its conjunction with the work of another poet either.
A poetic language that features a lot of shifts of tone and register, a lot of surprises, will be perceived by some to be mostly uniform in tone, relatively unvaried. At least by me, sometimes. *Objectively* the poetry can be demonsrated to be varied and surprising, yet I tend to hear only one predominant tone. It's kind of hard to explain.

10/4/2006

Had a nice bagel breakfast in Ithaca with the estimable (inestimable) author of Cahiers de Corey. Very few bloggers have actually met Julia and Akiko. Now back to see how my Baudelaire questionaire is going.

7/4/2006

A song I know very, very well already: "Everything I have is yours" or "Nice Work If You Can Get It," for example. And the first time I hear Billie Holiday sing it, there is a special emotion. It's like hearing it for the first time, but the emotion comes from *already* knowing it, and hearing it in a heightened dimension: from the combination of these two things, really. it's not that this is the only way the song should be sung: other interpretations are valid too. The beauty comes from knowing other, subsequent different versions, not from only knowing hers. Usually, hers is the best. Dinah Washington is great too. Ella and Sarah. Betty Carter. I'm not thrilled with Diana Krall and all the other Dianes and Dianas of jazz vocalism. I haven't anything against her, but there's a high standard set here. It's like reading 10 translation of Li Po, and always coming back to Ezra Pound.
Tomorrow: Ithaca, NY. Maybe I'll be able to see Josh and Aaron T.

***

Working on my title for a grant application:

"Performative Interpretations: Translation, poetics, Culture" [too many elements]

"Modes of Translation: Comparative Studies in Contemporary Poetics" [dull-sounding]

"Translation, Poetics, ..." [yada, yada]

"Performative Translation: Studies in Contemporary Poetics"

"Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Performance, Kitsch"
Here's a game that's fun to play. Who among these three eminences does a better job with the first 8 lines of this Baudelaire poem, "Paysage":

Je veux, pour composer chastement mes églogues,
Coucher auprès du ciel, comme les astrologues,
Et, voisin des clochers ecouter en rêvant
Leurs hymnes solennels emportés par le vent.
Les deux mains au menton, du haut de ma mansarde,
Je verrai l'atelier qui chante et qui bavarde;
Les tuyaux, les clochers, ces mâts de la cité,
Et les grands ciels qui font rêver d'éternité.

--Chas. B.

More chasteness to my eclogues it would give,
Sky-high, like old astrologers to live,
A neighbour of the belfries: and to hear
Their solemn hymns along the winds career.
High in my attic, chin in hand, I'd swing
And watch the workshops as they roar and sing,
The city's masts -- each steeple, tower, and flue --
And skies that bring eternity to view.

--Roy Campbell

To make my eclogues proper, I must sleep
hard by heaven--like the astrologers--
and being the belfries' neighbor, hear in my dreams
their solemn anthems fading on the wind.
My garret view, perused attentively,
reveals the workshops and their singing slaves,
the city's masts--steeples and chimneypots--
and above that fleet, a blue eternity...

--Richard Howard

I want a bedroom near the sky, an astrologer's cave
Where I can fashion eclogues that are chaste and grave.
Dreaming, I'll hear the wind in the steeples close by
Sweep the solemn hymns away. I'll spy
On factories from my attic window, resting my chin
In both hands, drinking in the songs, the din.
I'll see chimneys and steeples, those masts of a city
And the huge sky that makes us dream of eternity.

--John Ashbery

All have pretty obvious flaws, and a good portion of the flaws have to do with rhyme and meter. Yet one seems preferable to the other two. One seems to me to be the worst.
"Nolapoet," in a few comment boxes to posts below, is the poet Robin Kemp. I don't know much about her, but she definitely presents some formidable arguments. I don't know of any poetics blogs with better comments than mine, in fact.

***

The argment was put forward recently that *flarf* is mainly a parody/appropriation of working class/uneducated discourse. Looking at Petroleum Hat, I don't find that at all to be the case. It is a polyphonic language. It includes slang phrases, journalese, political discourse, "mainstream poetry," and the kitchen sink:

so of the rightest critters which will disrobe
the pita of this world this glutton is
the churl to tend, loss of mass of gradients
in the thinner posed contents, the burliest of buds
announces it only with spring seeing
which art maintaining the ornament flesh
of the world, enemy then of individuality
the soft individuality too cruel
the manufacture of a famine abundance is
the flame of the lucre feeds with
individual-substantial fuel
but the contract with the thinking
postpones the luminous eyes
that its tender riot could support this pattern
is made more iffy by decease of time
the color of this beast could never not die
to eat the whorl, by the tomb and the herd

The most notable elements here are words and phrases from Shakespeare's Sonnet I.

FROM fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light'st flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

These words and phrases are scrambled with other phrases, none of which seems specifically proletarian. Indeed, the internet is not the repository of specifically working class language. It is the language of all of us, with an endless number of registers.

I don't know what exact procedure was used to create the text. There seems to be some notion of approximiative homophony, but which pity become "pita" and "creatures" becomes "critters."
I find Jerome McGann's notion of "performative interpretation" helpful. (The Scholar's Art, U of Chicago P, 06) I had come up with a similar concept myself at one time, but without that handy label. A performative interpretation of a poem or any other literary performance might be

translation
parody
pastiche
homage, implicit or explicit
oral recitation / dramatic performance
song setting / sung performance of the song so set
musical setting of the text without words?
illustration (in any visual medium: drawing, photography, sculpture)
etc... [add your own examples]

(This list is my own, not McGann's).

What's NOT performative interpretation? Scholarly interpretation: presmably it is the typical scholarly article in discursive prose. Yet that too is performative, since "All interpretive action is performative/deformative" (McGann). So is scholarship *less* performative?

Don't we still need some form of scholarship (discursive prose) to explain what the interpretation implicit in the performance consists of? Does the scholarly performance include a specifically performative aspect alongside its discursivity?
Billie Holiday's Birthday. Her music all day on WKCR in New York. I am in heaven. "We live in a world Billie Holiday created." Try that one on for size!

6/4/2006

I think what bugged me about Orr's argument about Bishop was the idea that we live in a world she created. I know that great artists do create our world in just the way Orr describes. Also that Bishop is highly accomplished. But I can't see her as the kind of artist who changes our vision of reality, our cultural episteme. She's just not that kind of writer, and I've never seen (before Orr at least) that argument made on her behalf. I think she herself might reject it. No matter how much we esteem her, that is just not what she's about. It does violence to her own deliberate modesty. Here's one of my favorites of hers:


CONVERSATION

The tumult in the heart
keeps asking questions.
And then it stops and undertakes to answer
in the same tone of voice.
No one could tell the difference.

Uninnocent, these conversations start,
and then engage the senses,
only half-meaning to.
And then there is no choice,
and then there is no sense;

until a name
and all its connotation are the same.


You might even prefer poetry like this that does not even try to change the look and feel of things. That's your perfect right. But please don't confuse this with poetry that does in fact effect a change in vision, like Ashbery's Three poems.
Ok. One more rant. What does "street cred" mean when applied to poets? The concept is already borderline grotesque in hip-hop. If people think I'm really a gangster, not just someone playing one in a music video, they'll buy more records! Wonderful? Cynical! For a poet, the concept is doubly cynical, since it's parasitical on the rap artist image which is in turn parasitical on the gangster image. Who'll want to claim "street cred" next? Librarians? No poet I personally know has any "street cred" to speak of, and that's a good thing.

Granted, I think most people who refer to this concept are doing so ironically. But I have heard a few use it as though it were a meaningful criterion. This rant is directed at YOU.
All out of rants. David Lehman will have to wait.

5/4/2006

Get over yourself. You are not that famous or important. I can't imagine saying this kind of thing to anyone:


"Maybe, because of the work I do, which is, unlike yours, culturally and historically important, I just don't fit in with your project or some dopey shit like that."

"All my shit happens in Brasil, where I'm actually quite famous."




It would help if he got his story straight:


"Rest assured, I won?t delete a single comment or anything that makes me look stupid."

"If you start trying to talk to me about things you obviously don't comprehend, I'm going to delete you out of hand, because your dimwitted attempts at political discourse offend my delicate fucking sensibilities."
Ok. Enough rants. Now I will be nice. First, Dan Hoy seems to be a nice guy. I heard good things about him from his friend Justin at the AWP, as we were having lunch with Jordan Davis, Anne Boyers, and Kasey Mohammad. As evidence of Hoy's generosity of spirit I can point to his comment in Chris Daniel's comment boxes that Kasey's book Deer Head Nation is a "pretentious turd." What a wonderful guy Dan must be! Let's emulate the humaneness and political rectitude of people like Chris and Dan. The world will be a better place if we were all like them.

4/4/2006

Just once I'd like to read a post on flarf that said: "It's not my thing. I don't really dig it, but I'm glad it exists. Let a thousand styles flourish." Would that be so hard to say?
Rant number 3: I find this so full of condescension that it makes me want to puke. The use of the "royal we" itself makes me want to puke. April is zero tolerance month at Bemsha Swing.

We want poets to educate themselves to a point where they can begin to see their ideological confusion clearly and unashamedly. We have every right to request that of our fellow poets. In a time like the one we live in, it behooves us to get our politics in order, and that means a lot of legwork, which always includes self-critique.

We?re very forgiving. Everybody needs a wake-up call, sometimes.

... We?re asking our fellow poets to be careful and to think deeply and humanely about what they do.


Who is he to be forgiving anyone else? Did I miss the part where he was made god? Where's the evidence of his superior thoughtfulness, care, and humanity, where is his own self-critique? Certainly not in this stale rhetoric, which resurrects the least noble side of Marxist aesthetics: the petty personal attacks and name-calling, the race to adopt the most "correct" position, the insincere pretention to "self-critique," the stale vocabulary of "petty bourgeoisie." What the hell does that even mean any more? Are we like in 1860?
Is William Logan the reactionary poetry critic the same guy as William Logan the translator of Lorca? Please help me with this; I need to know. I'm thinking they're not the same guy at all, and that the translator must be at least 10 to 20 years older than the critic.

3/4/2006

While we are on the subject of rants--I picked up a copy of the anthology Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970 (1987) edited by Codrescu the other day. I thought it might be fun to have. It's got many of my favorite poets, but each is represented badly by a few pages. There are a lot of poets, few worthwhile pages in proportion to the bulk of the book. He seems to have chosen many poems that have the agressive affect of a rebellious thirteen-year old. (That seems to be the criterion of selection, in fact.) A lot of people strongly influenced by Ted Berrigan but who lack whatever it was made Berrigan good. Even the selection of Berrigan leaves out the best side of Berrigan: the postcards and sonnets. A lot of very slight Ron Padgett-style poems, but written without Ron's grace and wit. It almost drags down Ron and Ted to the level of their imitators. Never did the minorness of certain minor poets seem more minor. Maybe you had to have been friends with all these people. It makes me pine for Liz Bishop.

A poem about how we are making progress as a society--because more women nowadays enjoy breast-feeding and fellatio. A poem about hating Robert Lowell and wasps (by a poet I usually like, and I would even like this poem in another context). It's all very jejune, Tom Clarkish. Codrescu even puts himself in! Why not? He's not worse than a lot of what he selects.

Maybe this seemed fresh in 1987. If so, it shows the effect of choosing poems based on their "bottled on" date.

Maybe that's just my mood. I am obviously a profoundly unhappy person just to bother panning this 19-year old anthology. It's like bringing your conservative friend to see your favorite poets read--only to have these poets act like caricatures of bad avant-garde poets.

2/4/2006

New York Times with Insults

The New York Times tells us this morning (David Orr): : "...during the second half of the twentieth century, no American artist in any medium was greater than Bishop."

How about Coltrane? Monk? Miles? Rothko? Pollock? De Kooning? Feldman? Cage? O'Hara? Cornell? Nabokov? Asbhery? Creeley? Plath? Ornette? Coolidge? Just quite possibly Elizabeth Bishop, an accomplished and justly esteemed poet, is not quite as "great" as many or any of these figures, you blithering idiot. Maybe it's not wise to single out *anyone* as the greatest American artist "in any medium," you fricking moron. What, did you you think we would forget about the existence of Charlie Parker and assent to your ridiculous assertion, you deranged though reasonable-sounding cretin? It certainly makes that half century sound rather impoverished, if Bishop is the absolute best of the bunch, you fatuous blowhard. Bishop, for all her subtlety, cannot match up to Stevens, García Lorca, Rilke, Pessoa, or even quite possibly Marianne Moore, her own mentor, you insane ignoramus. Did we really just live through so culturally poor an epoch? As wonderful as she is, it does her no service to inflate her reputation: let us snobs appreciate her for what she is, a poet's poet's poet, in Ashbery's formulation. Don't make her compete in the "greatness" sweepstakes, you imperious imbecile.