Thursday, 22 December 2011

just when you thought

poetryland couldn't get any more up itself along comes this gem.

you'd think there was no bother about the future of the book as an object, that such world weary concerns are beyond the reach of such lofty debate. and lofty it is, lofty like an m&s advert. these are not just poems but 'emblazoned on pennants along the road we have just traversed'. brilliant!

it's absolutely worth following all the wee link dinky things in the article as a variety of suspects, well known and not, cue up to give us their views as if somewhere in poetryland a fat controller figure decided that what was needed was a dose of controversy of the storm in a tea cup type that's so favoured by the keyboard warriors of the internet.

in a nutshell, somebody writes a book, leaves out some people, includes others. 'outrage' ensues. obviously by outrage i mean the type of outrage you can have that plath, ginsberg, rexroth and the like, all those poets you've most likely got or read anyway, have been left out of a book you're more than likely not going to buy. or folk like mary oliver and billy collins have been included. and just a sweet nugget of racism and misogynism and the like. all those isms. swiss is tired now - wants to go sleepy time on the keyboard...

i read some fantastic poems this week. i was also out and about in my particular section of the world where the concerns of poetryland, notions of poetry, arts and any related are about as far away from relevant as its possible to be. when i got back i liked the fact i could recognise i had the time, the health and the ability to read all that fantastic poetry.

poetry, the act of reading, the space to paint and all of that are privileges i allow myself when i finish work. i don't have kids who are sick, i don't have elderly relatives whose minds are fusing into themselves, i'm not watching a loved one disintegrate in the face of disease. i am not worried that i'm losing my job, that my home is in danger or any of those things. i'm grateful for all of that and i'm grateful that not having to face any of these circumstances means i can help those that are.

getting upset over a poetry anthology! honestly, a wee bit of perspective...

(none of which is going to stop me posting more choice quotes form the ongoing debate. obviously!)


Niamh B said...

it does look like alot of fun, I don't have time now to click through the links so would be appreciative if you do pick out the best quotes - meantime did you see this one?
about the "career" of poetry - thought it was brill (in a so bad it's good kinda way)

Titus said...

Good gracious! I score 4 out of 5 of the bad things that could be happening to a person, and I still haven't managed to get the Christmas decorations up, but I found the row utterly fascinating, as well as gloriously vindictive.
Writers are probably just sensitive sorts.
I suspect my own mindset is entrenched in the elitist literary establishment, but I enjoyed the argument.
Merry Christmas!

swiss said...

i thought dove's response was glorious from

'no defense is necessary against these dishonorable tactics except the desire to shield my reputation from the kind of slanderous slime that sticks although it bears no truth'


'she not only loses her grasp on the facts, but her language, admired in the past for its theoretical elegance, snarls and grouses, sidles and roars as it lurches from example to counterexample, misreading intent again and again'

Marion McCready said...

this quote from Vendler's too good - "No century in the evolution of poetry in English ever had 175 poets worth reading, so why are we being asked to sample so many poets of little or no lasting value?"

seriously, you wonder what planet thses people live on!

swiss said...

i have the notoin vendler's got out of some form of the wrong bed!