Saturday, September 10, 2005

Many questions

Where does the poem begin? I have been thinking about this lately and will post something about this possibly tomorrow.

Has anyone found any poets speaking out about Katrina and its aftermath? There has been much silence and I don't know why. I might be looking in the wrong places.

Louise Gluck says in Proofs and Theories in the essay "Against Sincerity" that

"the advantage of poetry over life is that poetry, if it is sharp enough, may last. We are unnerved, I suppose, by the thought that authenticity, in the poem, is not produced by sincerity. We incline, in our anxiety for formulas, to be literal; we scan Frost's face compulsively for hidden kindness, having found the poems to be, by all reports, so much better than the man. This assumes our poems are our fingerprints, which they are not. And the processes by which experience is changed - heightened, distilled, made memorable - have nothing to do with sincerity. The truth, on the page, need not have been lived. It is, instead, all that can be envisioned."

I am still struggling with this. I want poetry not to be fiction, although many times it is. This ties back into my thoughts about where the poem begins. The two questions above tie together as well in what I expect from poets, potentially the vanguard of humanity's soul. Should they not be speaking about what can be envisioned in the aftermath of such tragedy?

I guess it is about expectations. I am still struggling with this one.

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