16 jun. 2007

Faux-naif formalism

"No one explains me because
There is nothing to explain.
It's all right here
Very clear.
O for my reputation's sake
To be difficult, and opaque!"


"We went to church, obeyed the laws
And voted on election day.
The peaceful farms surrounded us
The battles far away."

I'm not saying that Sam Hamill's press publishes a lot of bad poetry, but...

(Well, that's the conclusion you could draw, actually.)

I'll stop once the School of Quietude admits that it EXISTS. All those disengenuous denials are getting on my nerves... This is the evidence, and I could go on and on. I haven't even started in on Mary Oliver yet.

7 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

Am I the only person who has declared himself a card-carrying member? :-)

Henry Gould dijo...

Slamming ordinary run-of-the-mill poetry is very easy. Ordinary poetry has always been around. Ron Silliman thinks up a cute moniker for it & makes up lots of pretentious faux-facts about it (like the one about the conspiracy to deny it exists).

Mocking ordinary poetry is run-of-the-mill intellectual irresponsibility. Let's see you come up with a new school of poetry yourself, Jonathan Mayhew - or a new mode of writing or a new critical discovery in American literary history.

This mockery buisness is just more mindless po-biz as usual.

Jonathan dijo...

It's not the existence of this type of writing that bothers me, but the dominance and ubiquity. I'm just saying what Kenneth Koch said in "Fresh Air."

Henry Gould dijo...

& again I say it's just special pleading & po-biz "positioning".

The only measure is the work itself. We should spend our time examining, responding to, & illuminating the work we recognize as good.

I'm as much at fault for wasting time on this nonsense as you or anybody else. But let's call a spade a spade.

Jonathan dijo...

I have a substantive post coming up where I plan to do exactly that, trying to illuminate a few choice pasages.

JforJames dijo...

I'm not an SoQ denier (although I'd like to know who gets to erect the fence). What does it mean that much lackluster poetry is being written & published?...when was that not the case?

You should be able to find some dreadful passages in any Kenneth Koch book without looking too hard for them. Even among the non-SoQ there must be millions of insipid snippets. I don't think being 'avant garde' or 'new' or 'different' is prophylactic
against bad poetry.

Jonathan dijo...

I don't really think there are too many dreadful pasages in Kenneth Koch. I think you are just dead wrong on that one. Take his book The Art of Love. There is no bad writing in that book at all.

Copper Canyon is one of the most prestigious presses around. One year I remember they have three of the five Pulitzer nominations. It is not that bad poetry "gets published," but that it is praised and set forward as a model.