Friday, February 19, 2010

Poetry and the trades

The New York Times: "American fiction and poetry could use more former blacksmiths and concrete mixers among its ranks. Albeit without the forced labor."

(FWIW, I am descended from a blacksmith who was anything but poetical. Though he may have liked "The Village Blacksmith" for all I know.)

Link via Michael Marcinkowski who remarks:

"The forced labor part seems key. What self-respecting person trying to make a career as a writer would waste time on such things if they are not forced to? (Note ironic rhetorical tone.)

Additionally problematic: the form that such labor would take in America wouldn't be anything as exciting as blacksmithing or concrete mixing (professions that still involve craft), but would be something much more dull, like retail."

Pictured: A guy who was neither a poet nor my grandfather, about to smash a copy of Poetry magazine, a la Charles Bernstein.


Henry Gould said...

Fortunately that issue was made of solid iron, by the looks of it -

Don Share said...

Solid as iron since 1912!

Lemon Hound said...

I tried to be non-academic poet. Many jobs, most of them quite rewarding in ways. The problem, it seems to me, is the lack of acceptance and respect for non-academic poets, not the non-academic poets themselves.

In Canada it's a little different: we have support for poets who are exactly that: trades people, non-professionals, etc.

Diverse ways to come to poetry, that's all I'm saying.