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Lamont Palmer Male, 52, United States (6/26/2013 6:03:00 AM)

I have nothing against William Carlos Williams, but poets who love his mastery of American speech are rarely masters themselves, and he has been a terrible influence on those for whom imitation is the sincerest form of bad poetry. His poems were wonderful when they were the exception, but prose has so infiltrated and terrorized American poetry it’s now the rule (poets who prefer a subtler form of grace are criticized for being too difficult or flowery) . -William Logan

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  • Greg Davidson (6/28/2013 7:20:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    Call me old and irrelevant but I agree with your sentiments. I have read too many " poems" that seem to me to be great examples of English expression with new paragraphs created in what appear to be random places with no regard paid to grammar, phrasing or the images being presented.

  • Jefferson Carter (6/26/2013 11:16:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    You'd think Logan would be more precise in his use of the term " prose, " a kind of writing organized by paragraphs. If he means " prosaic, " he makes a somewhat valid point about Williams' influence on the plain style's popularity in current American verse. Looking at Logan's own pallid attempts at retro-verse, I'd suggest he'd be better off moving from the flowery rhetoric of most pre-1960s poetry to a plainer style. At least his poems wouldn't give off that musty academic odor.

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