Saturday, January 14, 2006

State of Poetry

Charles Mudede and James Latteier recently penned a bizarre piece in The Stranger that you may well have read. In short it was a diatribe about what is wrong with poetry today. I was amazed at their definition of poetry. Let's see, they said, "Poetry is the continued practice of poetry." You heard me right. It's one of those definitions from like a buck and a quarter notebook- insert dictionary. A self defining word. To this sentence they added, "This circular definition simply says that you can't start afresh." Start what afresh? What the fuck are they saying? New form? Good lord, poetry has been evolving since inception.

If we were going to have a "State of The Art of Poetry" address and discuss the current status of the art, I'm sure we could find plenty to bitch about. On the other hand I believe there is so much innovative writing being done today that is not even recognized.

Evidently Charles and James have an aversion to confessional poetry. That's fine. But they must surly realize that the confessional scene is not all that is out there. And some people still find well written confessional poetry to suit our taste.

What exactly are these two saying? Poetry is the practice of poetry? Good poems beget good poems? We should all mimic their concept of great poetry? There is nothing new under the sun that is good?

Given the negative tirade they have made on poetry in general, I believe they owe us a better description as to what poetry is to them.
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