In Radical Pursuit

Is it possible that there are different levels of poetry? Poetry that is like commercial pop music, and good in this genre, but that you should not compare to good music? Should we call poetry that aims for a support group level of discourse, poetry? Holden says that in confessional and conversation poetry, the life and confession, or the conversation, have to be better than any you would have in real life to become interesting as art, and I agree.

“Maybe it was 50s austerity about poetry that marginalized Dylan Thomas. That would make sense. I don’t really tolerate the Beats well, either, or Plath. Maybe I secretly dislike Dickinson and do not know it yet. Yet all these people were at least poets, that is, they were not not poets.”

I said that and then found out about the essays of W.D. Snodgrass, someone else I did not know about.

I think one of the problems in the Vallejo industry has been the insistence on thematic and hagiographic reading — reading the poetry as anything but poetry, in other words.



1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “In Radical Pursuit

  1. Hattie

    Well put.

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