Sunday, November 4, 2007

"The poetry culture"

"Whenever I hear the words 'the poetry culture,' that's when I reach for a book of poems, because while the best of that culture — essays, dissertations, blogs, reviews, podcasts, panels, gossip, Listservs, conferences, blurbs, manifestoes, letters to editors, etc. — has the potential to inform, provoke, entertain, and inspire writers and readers of poems, what it can never do, as a consequence of its innate tendencies toward generalization and homogenization, is determine the kinds of poems (and tastes by which they are to be enjoyed) which will, much less should, be created. Poets will do that work in poems, as they always have, for better or worse. 'The poetry culture' may be uncertain of its bearings, but poems are headed exactly where they've always been headed: toward wherever the hell it is they're going."

--excerpt from Joel Brouwer's letter to the editors of Poetry.

2 comments:

Simon said...

Hilarious! His criticism of "the mission-impossible-style, this-essay-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds remedy" is particularly appropriate right now given the macho overtones of his diction.

Don Share said...

See newer post, above!