20 ago. 2007

Among major movements of postwar poetry

confessional, New York School, Black Mountain," "Beat" etc...

there is a separation between one the one hand

Black Mountain, Beat, New York School, SF and Berkeley Renaisssance and, on the other hand

Confessional, "deep image, " and "academic"

That is, deep image and "confessional" poetry is placed on the other side of the divide. Confessional poetry arose out of the already academic poetry of Lowell, Snodgrass, and Berryman, as an internal revolt from within academic poetry, so it never had credibility among those in the other camp.

There is a shadow "deep image" school of Rothenberg, Kelly, and possibly Wakoski, on the "avant" side of the line. It's like the mirror image of Bly, Wright, and Merwin. I've seen accounts from both sides that simply leave out the names of the "deep image" poets on the other side. Even Antin started out as a deep image poet, if you read his book length interview with Charles Bernstein.

When deep image surrealism gets folded back into Iowa plainspokenness, it remains suspect. It turns into another mode of what used to be called "academic" poetry.

Ultimately it seems a simplification, though, to place two major movements on the other side of that invisible line. it doesn't pass the "Martian test." That is, you couldn't explain it to an extraterrestrial being who has no prior stake in the question. It also doesn't make sense to place the New York poets halfway in the academic camp, because they were influenced by Auden at one point and published with New York Trade houses.

The division does mirror my own taste. I can't stand Sexton or Snodgrass, or Bly, Kooser or Hall. That's not a justification, though.

2 comentarios:

Henry Gould dijo...

It's good to know they're all academic now.

John dijo...

Iowa plainspokenness isn't plainspoken. It mistakes prose for speech. It's plainprosiness. That's part of the problem. Speech is funkier, spittier, stutterier, livelier than plain, brown paper prose.

Like Ethel Merman didn't sing, "Everything's coming up proses!"

Nice post. Hooray for the Martians. Especially when they transmit poetry via radio to Jack Spicer.