Tuesday, January 25, 2011
It's OK to Hate Poetry
Dear American Literati and Colleagues
Across the Curriculum,
Hate it. "Why can’t they just say what
they mean, mean what they say. Direct
& straight". It’s ok to dislike. Many do.
I, for one, don’t care for frogs legs and
I’ve never had them.
Or modern art. My dog could paint
bettern a lot of that stuff. Why don’t
they paint what it looks like? Who do
they think they are?
Of Modern Poetry
The poem of the mind in the act of finding
What will suffice. It has not always had
To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
Was in the script. Then the theatre was changed
To something else. Its past was a souvenir. ...
It has to construct a new stage.
It has to be on that stage,
And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and
With meditation, speak words that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it wants to hear, at the sound
Of which, an invisible audience listens,
Not to the play, but to itself, expressed
In an emotion as of two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one. ...
It must /Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may
Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman
Combing. The poem of the act of the mind.
Ripping off & sampling Wallace Stevens. the man
who put a jar on a mountain in Tennessee and called
it poetic or rather: made a poem out of the idea of
putting a jar on a mountain in Tennessee and I doubt
he ever did it. Does it matter?.
Some see poetry jumping off of prose, glarmorizing
a tuxedo higher order refined squeezed essence like
blood diamonds out of coal: concentrated alchemical
trans-formations of mundane to profound ratios —
Simultaneous. All at once.
But prose is poetry’s prosaic reduction falling down
to pathetic beginnings, middles, & endings: sequence
& consequence, thesis-driven Flatlander versions of
the sphere--waking-life collapse of dream: here-let
again-for-the-time-being: imagination on the skids,
slumming so as to make a dollop of common sense —
a prose shellacking. .