Sunday, May 28, 2006

sarah & i were talking

about poetry this morning and it brought up this entry from limetree (where, by the way, a somewhat interesting discussion about flarf continues [it started, I think on minor american] in regards to a poem that can be found here).

all of that aside, this earlier post comparing a Billy Collins lyric poem & Jennifer Moxley lyric poem is still quite interesting, & seeing the poems side by side, both using similar strategies etc... just curious what you fellow dimlabbers think of the analysis etc...


amber said...

Well, I read the two poems and found myself fairly uninterested. Not things that I would go out of my way to read, in either case. In fact, were I to stumble across them in a journal, I probably would have read the first couple of lines, bored, and moved on. But the debate! The debate! I must agree with Kirby and Kent in so many ways. Yes, the poems are excruciatingly similar. In fact, I think they are similar not just in content, but in method and style. Yes, one is more cynical. But Collins has a style only marginally more "easy listening" than Moxley. But hardly.

And in the end, it's true. These poets, these post-avantes, language, experimental blah blah blahs, the poets a generation before me, those whose footsteps that I follow, are very much the mainstay in poetry for poets. Not populist, in the way of Collins, but the post-avants and the language and all veins of experimental seem to be the forefathers for up and coming generations of poets and Masters Programs. Why must we all act like children. Mudsling. We are not in high school. Must we act like high school cliques?

I once enjoyed Collins. I see nothing intrinsically evil in his poetry. In fact I commend his ability to get people who would not normally read poetry to read poetry. The things that we write are not things that most people will want to read. Only poets and writers. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I also do not belive that there's anything ineherntly wrong with "easy listening" poetry. Just because I don't want to read it anymore does not mean it deserves condemning. It's like the age old "high literature" versus "genre fiction." I will read Saunders and I will read Koontz. Give it the fuck up. (that being said, I really hate easy listening.)

...sorry this is scattered. I'm not sure I'll ever be an academic.

will said...

i know what you mean. i do enjoy the moxley poem, for what it is, & think it's a more interesting poem from the standpoint of language, using, as i think it does, more than one mode of language (economics, poetic, narrative), but it could, i suppose, appeal to me based solely on its semi-anti-capitalist stance, whereas the collins poem repulses me in its super-pro-capitalist stance. & i remember agreeing w/ the comments of kent johnson & his dismissal of the current post-avant's outsider stance on all things poetic, when, indeed, the avant garde is the tradition that seemingly all students of poetry follow, & the mode that is most mainstream now. this is one of the reasons why i can't read silliman's blog w/o getting annoyed. his need to take potshots at other traditions (even when i agree) while hiding behind the outsider moniker is fairly revolting (hows that for an overloaded noun-phrase).

ward gleason said...

the word of the day is "stance"

S. Burgess said...

There's nothing wrong with being happy in the upperclass. Their ought be more of it. I mean, do you really prefer my poetry? "I'm so rich and so unhappy!" I mean, get OVER yourself. Boohoo I'm wealthy. So spoiled.
That said, I dislike the Collins poem, and only think the Moxley okay, because there's nothing complicated about the content, and, being raised catholic and upperclass, I'm not sure I really get the point of anything uncomplicated. But evil? Meh.