Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The enemy within

"Idiots are always mischievous; and the most superficial persons are the most disposed to find fault because they understand the fewest things."

"Contemporary writers may generally be divided into two classes - one's friends or one's foes. Of the first we are compelled to think too well, and of the last we are disposed to think too ill, to receive much genuine pleasure from the perusal, or to judge fairly, of the merits of either." -- William Hazlitt

5 comments:

Lemon Hound said...

Don,
Thanks for the Hazlitt. I appreciate you locating these questions in such vast historical contexts. And really, do all of these annoying links show up wherever I go? When I leave a comment they scroll below me. Very disconcerting.

Jordan said...

LH, sounds like you have some malware. I believe it only shows up on your machine.

Don, thanks for these.

Don Share said...

Well, thank you, Lemon. Not to worry about those links... I think they're rather charming and fascinating!

Speaking of links, I want to mention your own wonderful blog post, which I'm telling everyone about. Click here, folks, for a more constructive take on poetry blogging than we've seen recently on Harriet.

Michael Robbins said...

Tell me about it. Not that I am not (not that we all are not) deserving of such censure myself at times, but I just came across this at a poetry forum, in a thread complaining that my NYer poem is difficult to understand & expressing bafflement that the Village Voice ran an article about me:

>>You know, the saddest part about all this is that this jackass is getting lots of discussion. No, I'm not jealous -- I just can't help but think that his so-called poetry is the means to exactly this end. It's almost in the same category of a daredevil doing a really absurd stunt to get on the six o' clock news. This is what I'm talking about with poetry getting a bad rep these days. Much of it is because your average, everyday Dick or Jane doesn't read much poetry, and when they do, it's through The New Yorker or The Village Voice where they're treated to this crap. Then they see so-called critics saying it's "good", which leaves the general reader thinking, "Well, if this is good poetry, the poetry's obviously not my thing!"

I know: turn off Google Alerts. And maybe my being bothered by this is simply another symptom of my own self-absorption. But, I mean, jeez.

Lemon Hound said...

Never read your own press. Rule number 1. Who did I learn that from? My mother? Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep...

Don: thanks for the vote of confidence. I see an open sea before me...yes, there is a drift net below and a plastic island ahead, but one thing at a time. For the moment, it is a calm, and giving swim.