Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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Jefferson Carter Jefferson Carter Male, 91, United States (2/15/2014 11:04:00 AM)

Lamont, why quote this as if it's an admirable sentiment?

‘What Billy Collins does, he does very well, and there are many poets who, seeing his example, seeing that poetry can reach the masses and make them laugh (this begins to sound like the plot of Sullivan’s Travels) , want to stuff feathers in their heads just to be like him. The world can stand one Billy Collins, but what happens when everyone writes poems that humiliate the art they practice?I feel like a grouch to ask, but what then?’ -William Logan

Logan is not just a grouch or someone who'd rather stuff poetic feathers up his ass than in his head. He's an awful poet (as his poem you posted below illustrates) whose work, while aspiring to idolize the poetic past, humiliates it by imitating the worst aspects of that old white goat tradition—the academic stench of the museum clings to his poetry and to his critical positions. I can see why you like Logan; you like the constipated and derivative as much as he does.

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  • Lamont Palmer (2/15/2014 3:00:00 PM) Post reply

    And to add: I place Rod McKuen in the same tradition as Brautigan and Corman: churning out short narratives that strive for a small moment of revelation:


    Two Sides


    I promised I would call
    I used to do that often
    and meant it at the time
    as I meant to answer letters
    and take the dogs out walking
    the same hour every day.

    I didn't call because I didn't
    and because a promise
    I might keep
    that leads you nowhere
    would be unkinder
    than good intentions
    that grow dim.

    Rod McKuen

  • Lamont Palmer (2/15/2014 2:20:00 PM) Post reply

    Considering Logan's opinion is published and feted, and yours is just on an internet forum wall, I'd say his carries much more weight, and certainly reaches more readers. And let me say something about the word 'derivative'. You ludicrously think that word only applies to formal poetry. However, every poem is 'derivative' of some type of style or tradition. Your poetry is derivative of the short narratives of Cid Corman, Brautigan, (both exceedingly minor poets) and that ilk, which was popular in the 60's and 70's (and by the way, not very popular anymore) . So lets have a little perspective here, JC. But thanks for your opinion. Its just one of many. -LP

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