14 ago. 2007

I tried to read Mark Strand the other day. In the abstract, without having a book of Strand's on hand, I would have said he is pretty good. Not my favorite style of poetry, but possibly good "of type." Yet when I actually try to read something like this I can barely tolerate it. It seems bland and colorless to me, almost unspeakably dull like Charles Wright. Yet I'm sure if I don't read him very much I'll continue to think of him as pretty good "of type."

5 comentarios:

gary barwin dijo...

What book were you trying to read? I think it matters because I think that he has some lesser books/poems which certainly fit your assessment. There are, however, some excellent poems in, say, A Blizzard of One. I wouldn't say that they're poems that would sock your knocks off in terms of their innovations, but thoughtful poems of skill and depth that have something to them.

This comment paid for by the Friends of Mark Strand Canadian Auxillary

Andrew Shields dijo...

Your post reveals the advantages of "bull crit," as we called it in grad school: talking about books you have never read. For a long time, I had not read "Madame Bovary," but I could talk about it because I had read so many general essays about fiction that used examples from the book to make their points. When I saw the Huppert film, the whole story was familiar, as if I were watching "Flaubert's Greatest Hits." Later, I read the book and found out that there is a lot more to it than just those scenes.

But I have also had experiences like your Strand experience, where I kind of wish I had remained at the level of bull crit.

Jordan dijo...

Looking at the New & Selected, eh? I liked a few poems in that Camel book of a few years back.

Jonathan dijo...

But, you see, I have read Blizzard of One.

I think like many people I fell in love with the poem "Eating Poetry" when I was very young. Or Levine's "They Feed They Lion." And then those poets never did anything as good afterwords.

Emily Lloyd dijo...

Yes. It should be called the "They Feed They Lion" effect...loved that one, great sound, great concept, but everything after...where did it come from? ("Eating Poetry" always seemed to me to have taken flight from a Shel Silverstein book).

The first time I did a 7-up or 7-down poem over 15 years ago, I chose Levine and ended up with "They Federalize They Lips." [grin]