Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Conceptual poetry gives you more bang for your buck

... according to Kenny Goldsmith! Click on the funny money, or here, to find out more. Or less, given what a dollar's worth these days... which goes to show you that American poetry is on the verge of bankruptcy. And also that mere mention of "flarf" inflates web traffic (present company excluded).

Click here for a response to my comments in this post.

Speaking of funny business and silly language hijinx... "Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled."

Words taken out:

Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe

Dwarf, elf, goblin

Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar

Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade

adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren.

Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow

Words put in:

Blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue

Celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, creep, citizenship, childhood, conflict, common sense, debate, EU, drought, brainy, boisterous, cautionary tale, bilingual, bungee jumping, committee, compulsory, cope, democratic, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, donate, endangered, Euro

Apparatus, food chain, incisor, square number, trapezium, alliteration, colloquial, idiom, curriculum, classify, chronological, block graph


Michael Robbins said...

Obviously, more poets should get into gubernatorial politics. That's where the money is. Risky, though.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of money...

From: Faits Divers de la Poésie Américain et Britannique (a forthcoming collective (anonymous)blog devoted to very brief sociological observations of the poetry field):

"Ouch!" cried the cunning oyster-eater, M. Goldsmith. "A pearl!" Someone at the next table bought it for 100 francs. It had cost 10 centimes at the dime store.

Anonymous said...

From: Faits Divers de la Poésie Américain et Britannique (a forthcoming collective (anonymous)blog devoted to very brief sociological observations of the poetry field):

It was M. Sullivan’s strange wish: to be embalmed and floated down the Seine, on a log raft-- with an uneducated-sounding guy named Jim manning the rudder.

michael robbins said...

Come now, Anon, have you no more gibes & gambols? Brag, sweet tenor bull!

david lumsden said...

the word lists look like the makings of an MFA creative writing exercise: write a (insert obscure medieval verse form of choice) using ten words from each list.

Anonymous said...

Dear M. Robbins,

Well, there are perhaps a hundred, and counting (following Feneon, btw, all are of two or three lines, though the prosody doesn't reproduce here). Here is another that may relate to the, how should one put it... contentedly vitiated matter of Conceptualism?:

Impassive, impenetrable, offering only name, rank, and institution, the heroic neo-Oulipean M. Bök withstood three weeks of waterboarding in the secret chambers of the Poetry Foundation. Finally, he broke.

Don Share said...

It's my blog, and I demand to know what the hell you guys are going on about!

Anonymous said...

Dear M. Share,

Our collective is merely offering, following your posting above, some modest faits divers topical to "Conceptualism" and "Flarf," these last being, as you know, minor and contradictory poetic expressions of Late Capital, poignantly pining to be taken as iconoclastically momentous, even as their practitioners dissemble in hipster-ish insouciance... As R. P. Blackmur used to say, The savor of the yeast comes baked in the cake.

One more, and then to reserve the remainder for our blog-to-be:

With its horrible monsters and efflorescent skin diseases, a traveling carnival show burned down in Montgeron. Even as the embers glowed, The Symposium on Conceptual Poetries was called to order, in Tucson.

Don Share said...

M. Anon, I buy not a word of this.

As R.P. Blackmur said of the flaneur and hipster Dean Gauss, "Only those have force who know it is not theirs unless it is given to others."

The Symposium's embers quickly cooled to ash, if not Ashbery.

Michael Robbins said...

Dear M. Anon (or Al-Anon, to give the form of your native tongue),

I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of these faits divers. Too much lymph in the temperament were making our western wits fat & mean. Peace be upon each of your wives.

Don, thou shalt know more anon!


Anonymous said...

M. Share,


Sick of it all, poet M. Bertin, 34, blew out his brains. A tragedy, yes… But then again (as the townsfolk of Vannes murmured to themselves), if you were only a poet, wouldn’t you blow your brains out, too?

Tim Upperton said...

With respect, Don, that coin's not funny money. Where I come from (i.e. New Zealand), that's a dinkum dollar.

Don Share said...

Quite right, Tim, and an apology is owed, so to speak. I'm especially chastened to reflect that it's our money here in the US which is funny at the moment.

David-Baptiste Chirot said...

Dear Mr Share:

I created a response for and "After" your response to the post on the Harriet blog--
at my blog

(these links--or chains- of blogs chainsawed floating downstream soon to amass themselves into an armada'd blogjam--)


also there is a section re Feneon as a Conceptual Poet (my ides of such) from an essay of mine that was also accompanied by statements & 30 visual poems participating in the "Conceptual Poetry and its Others" Symposium last Spring
the essay in toto may be linked at the Symposium's site-
and the Feneon excerpted section at:

this blog has a Call for Participants--
as does the my other one--

i'm new to your blog and finding it very interesting!--
all my best wishes for the holidays--

the unreliable narrator said...

Walp, I think I need a couple of those 99-cent tallboys, because I seem to have just gotten a lot stupider in the last fifteen minutes.

Before all the make-it-new-already got me so addlepated, I merely wanted to point out how odd it is that Junior readers now apparently need definitions of "emotion," "childhood," and "common sense." But perhaps, okay, it isn't that odd after all....

Whereas perhaps the agrarian/bucolic words have simply been rendered superfluous? Since our children now spend the bulk of their time frolicking in nature!

Matt said...

i think you're missing his point.

tits of america, forever...