I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree. This is like saying that doctors should only see healthy patients, and not waste time on sick people. I think that the well-being of poetry, in a larger and very general sense, depends on a critical comprehension of pathology, and not just good health: each state is a function of the other.
Maybe the distinction here is really between "reviewing" and "criticism;" in the roundtable, I argue that ours is an age of blogs, reviews, interviews (about which click here), chatter, publicity and social networking, but not criticism. Nothing wrong with these various other modes except that it crowds out critical thinking, which is more demanding as well as less rewarding.
Sing, ye Muse of Criticism . . .
"The Age Demanded"
The age demanded that we sing
And cut away our tongue.
The age demanded that we flow
And hammered in the bung.
The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.
And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded.
Decline and Fall of Reading, part II (Pt. I here)
Grave reports on the decline of literary reading notwithstanding (and here's where I wholeheartedly agree with Steve), I saw the following books read by apparently normal people on public transportation this past week:
Complete Poems and Plays of T.S. Eliot - in the Faber edition!
Fable of the Bees by Mandeville!! [Timely, too.]
The Dance Most of All by Jack Gilbert
(Now that's a positive use of space...)
FINE PRINT: Note that I am not saying we need criticism to read with our own eyes (on the contrary, we need it to read with others'), or that I care more for criticism than poetry (I don't), or that I'm only interested in "negative" reviews (I'm not). Thank you.
ADDENDUM: Seth Abramson on Steve's Mayday response.