Should poets describe this silly-looking thing. . . or not?
"Traditional (i.e. fully-determined, fully-resolved, fully-bordered) narratives have been regarded [...] as being inherently more emotional (let us even say weighty, given Jason [Guriel]'s adjectival stylings, [in his Poetry essay]) than non-traditional narrative. The irony in this--in the continued near-religious belief, in short, in the adjective--is that, whatever Jason may personally feel, many poetry readers are not particularly invested in hearing the sound a rooster makes described in the thousandth way it has ever been described (never the same description twice, mind you). I just can't attach any great emotion to a general movement I've seen over and over again in poetry, whether or not I've been specifically told in the past that a rooster's "dark, corroded croak" is like "a grudging nail tugged out of stubborn wood" (Eric Ormsby). That's beautiful--but is it truly powerful enough to overwrite all those intimate, hard-won, highly-personalized, highly-experiential associations I already have with the words "rooster" and "nail" and "wood"?
-- Seth Abramson
For more on this, click here for a similarly named but very different thread on Harriet!
Speaking of so-littleness... I don't get how the "20 poetry books" meme, or the "First 100 days' poems" project, constitute a useful conversation-in-the-aggregate about poetry, great or small. Lists and poems-made-to-order may be just what the doctor (not W.C.W.) ordered in an age of diminishing greatness (if that's what this is), but enlighten me as to why these should fill one with hopefulness. Oh, and speaking of hope... anyone notice those Pepsi hope-slogans designed to look like something left over from the Obama campaign? It can't be a good thing when hope and poetry are trotted out to sell you something. Hope isn't the thing with feathers anymore: nope, it's fizzy and noble!