Sunday, January 22, 2017
Meaning and murk in modern poems
But not so much. It's gotten to the point that the school of poets who are referred to as the New Formalist, poets who’ve tired of free verse and variable feet and the several generations of “open forms” in poetry and compose poems that rhyme and which employ traditional meter, have become a controversial matter in that they threaten to usurp the hegemony of the Avant Gard tradition.
To each their own as to what they prefer to put in front of their eyes, and to each their own for developing a critical rationale for their what sorts of peculiar phrase deformations give them pause to stroke their chin, scratch their head and laugh or cry as the case maybe. Emotional responses reconstituted and subjected to the marginalia that makes even recipes for stone soup resemble nothing less than unappetizing exercises in gratuitous brain power is, to an extent , another sort of poetry.It's a condition that admits, tacitly, that we're unable to get to the actual heart of our states of being, fluid as they are, but we are capable of conducting our recollections through a lexicon that most closely resembles whatever idealized paradigm momentarily fits the fleet footed of a perception. It's guess work of a kind, never on the money, never finalizing the dissension among the talkers who wait their turn to speak their world into existence, but still something that brings a quality we cannot live without. A love of process, of trying to come up with means , methods and ideas of using language that is a as fluid and predictable as experience itself.
Myself, I am attracted to any kind of poetic writing that has that rare quality of being dually fresh and unique; I am less intrigued by the theory behind a poem, experimental or traditional than I am on it reads, on whether it works. If it produces a reader’s satisfaction, then it becomes useful to investigate what a writer has done as an artist in this odd medium, bringing skill and on the fly inspiration to bear in the writing. This can be the case with Ron Silliman, John Ashbery, two poets who are arrest my attention with their creation of indirect address of the living expression, and it is the case for Thomas Lux and Dorianne Laux, two other poets who are not averse to letting in you follow their line of thinking and who still lead you results that are unexpected and extraordinary.