So I had every intention of doing this essay thing, as well as all the finalizing of poetry stuff for the final showdown...but this house-sitting gig is taking up more of my time then I would have liked.
Ultimately I feel like the Gudding essay fails. I still feel like it reads more like a book report "this is what this person thinks and this is what that person thinks." Can't really disagree with the thesis that most of the poets from the 60's became more personal in their approach to poetry (with the exception perhaps of the Pacific Northwest Set...and even they pulled away some from nature and narrative). Also can't really disagree with the fact that a lot of poets have/do believe that there is some sort of "otherness" speaking through them.
However that has never been something that I have felt.
And while I do think that poetry continues to be personal, I also think that there has been a recent push towards skill, theory, and language. It's not enough to speak of your own experience. It must be interesting in terms of language and approach as well.
This is basically my thesis.
And my own personal approach in writing. I feel like we speak towards a common experience by speaking of personal experience. That as poets we must write in an interesting way in order to be successful, in order to have people want to read it, and to be able to feel the experience as concordant with their own.
I believe that often times we read poetry, and personal experience less because we want to see what other people's lives are like, than we actually want to see that their lives and experiences are like our own. That we are, in fact, not alone. That we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. (I mean this as my experience, and why I like to read poetry...and while I could never say for certain for other people, I still believe this is true for other people whether they recognize it or not).
I have written this without the aid of my notes so this may be general, and some of my assertions about Gudding's essay may be off. But it still expresses what I think.
That's all folks. Time to go run some stairs and punch a big red cushion.