9 sept. 2003

HG Poetics asks: "All this vehemence makes me ask: is criticism actually possible with regard to contemporary poetry? Contemporary culture is most adept at creating complete autonomous worlds (poetry movements, football seasons, ghettos, SUV ads, music videos, computer games. . .). These pastimes are so pervasive and all-consuming that, in comparison, perhaps, a general notion of 'good writing' seems inconceivably boring. 'Progressive' poetry creates its own terms for production & consumption, which have a lot to do with an aura of performance & 'liminality' & immediate experience, and little to do with 'normal' or even traditionally or measurably elegant syntax or vocabulary."

But we are all vehement! Henry Gould and Jean Hooligan as much as Jonathan Mayhem. It's called passion! If elegance could be measured it wouldn't be elegant any longer. If poetry were written in "normal" language it wouldn't be poetry at all. All this reminds me of some books my Grandpa had by Robert Hillyer, a guy who used to write a column for the Saturday Review or Saturday Evening Post. He would quote a poem by Cummings or Williams or Auden and sneer at it. Modern poetry was crap. Half the time he was right, but that just shows bad poetry will always be more plentiful than good. The poetry he advocated was worse than crap. That's why the badness of Houlihan's own poetry matters in this debate.

No hay comentarios: