Treasure Island

Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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  • Marcy Jarvis (9/22/2005 12:10:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    Why is there a 'Source' box at the bottom of each submission page and yet, when you fill it out, it doesn't appear?

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/21/2005 10:12:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    Another shortie, this time Goethe.
    I only do those that I have not seen in their English translations.
    H
    Goethe Translated


    Was ist Unendlichkeit?
    Wie kannst du dich so quaelen?
    Geh in dich selbst!
    Entbehrst du drin Unendlichkeit in Sein und Sinn
    so ist dir nicht zu helfen.


    What is eternity?
    Why must it torture you?
    Search in your self!
    And if, within your own identity you fail to find
    finality without the end,
    nothing shall save you.

  • Lamont Palmer (9/21/2005 5:16:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    Thanks Sherrie for pointing out in black and white how DG, quite nicely, makes Dan Schneider's argument...maybe in not so strident a way as DS, but he makes it just the same.

    ***

    We have an odd situation: although more bad poetry is being published now than ever before in American history, most of the reviews are positive. Critics say, 'I never attack what is bad, all that will take care of itself, '... but the country is full of young poets and readers who are confused by seeing mediocre poetry praised, or never attacked, and who end up doubting their own critical perceptions.

    A clubby feeling also typifies most recent anthologies of contemporary poetry. Although these collections represent themselves as trustworthy guides to the best new poetry, they are not compiled for readers outside the academy. More than one editor has discovered that the best way to get an anthology assigned is to include work by the poets who teach the courses. Compiled in the spirit of congenial opportunism, many of these anthologies give the impression that literary quality is a concept that neither an editor nor a reader should take too seriously.

    ***

    Dan and Dana and I agree. In fact, one might think ole Dana has spent some time here at PH.

  • Michael Shepherd (9/21/2005 6:10:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies Stage

    ... and is a 'celebrated critic' just a branch of the armchair entertainment industry...?

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    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/21/2005 7:30:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      Michael, I was wondering (and still am) , would you point your finger to a poem such as Rilke or whatever you like, it must be in German and I will try my luck on a translation. I feel like practising ... more

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/21/2005 6:56:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      Right on. A critic is like the bartender who, while not imbibing himself, judges his customers. H

  • Michael Shepherd (9/21/2005 6:09:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

    It's a fair question - who is a critic writing 'for'? Does he hope thereby to shame, say, Billy Collins into becoming a 'better' poet (Fair dinkum) ? Does he hope to educate the public for poetry into seeking finer poetry? (OK) . Is he conducting an unspoken rivalry with his fellow critics (not uncommon, and tiresome and unproductive in the extreme) ? Does he hope to launch a campaign against self-appointing elites and cliques? Or just building his own sandcastle of self-esteem? or 'mission'. It's a fair question. Answers please, with reference to Dan Schneider or not.

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  • Marcy Jarvis (9/21/2005 3:23:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    dropping the 't' simply takes the 'sing' out of it.

  • Marcy Jarvis (9/20/2005 10:39:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    And here is where you FAIL as a humorist, Lamont. You had a perfect punch line, which should have ended at Rod Sterling. To go on and explain the joke, ruins it for anyone who got it. (I so held myself back from putting quotes in the air around the words 'explain' and 'got it' so I wouldn't look like Chris Farley just then.) The use of the word titular three times (at least) in the past 24 hours is another striking example of how you just don't have one.

  • Lamont Palmer (9/20/2005 9:53:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies Stage

    Heres Dan Schneider's take on Billy Collins and Schneider's attempt at 'fixing' one of Collins' poems. Now remember, this is for discussion. Don't get pissed at me...get pissed at Dan. Write him if you want. (smile)

    ****

    Billy Collins is the current American Poet Laureate- assuming that title last year. Unlike the other recent PL’s BC’s appointment was a bit of a shock, since he is not even highly regarded in the faux manner that Academics fete each other with. Part of this is resentment, because BC is a regular guest on National Public Radio & other outlets for poetry. Another reason is because he is primarily perceived as a humorist. He does not take himself seriously. Great. A fresh of breath air- get it? Unfortunately there is a big difference between being perceived as a humorist & being a humorist. This is also true for just plain old being a poet.
    BC has the typical Academic resume- winning a detritus of prizes screed across the back slope of his career. Here’s a quote from bad poet & worse critic Edward Hirsch regarding BC’s book The Art of Drowning: ‘Billy Collins is an American original, a metaphysical poet with a funny bone and a sly questioning intelligence. He is an ironist of the void and his poems-witty, playful, and beautifully turned-bump up against the deepest human mysteries.’ Where have we seen this kind of blurb before? If you answered everywhere give yourself a kiss. Being an original of something is akin to being the best something-or-other of your generation. The fact that there are tons of originals & bests, well- why nitpick? Of course, the best way to imply depth without a reason behind it is to attach a label like metaphysical or surreal to any word. & how, pray tell, can intelligence be sly? It either is or is not. Questioning, okay- but sly? That’s a code word for funny- & it’s odd how someone whose aim is to be funny has his apologist go to great lengths to use that word. Of course, he’s an ironist- not a comedian- damn you! But, how is a void ironic- even if the VOID! ? As for the rest- standard off-the-rack blurbery.
    Let’s round off the accolades with this little bit from an online c.v.:

    He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also won the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, and the Levinson Prize -all awarded by Poetry magazine. In 1992 he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as 'Literary Lion.' For several years he has conducted summer poetry workshops at University College Galway. He is poet-in-residence at Burren College of Art in Ireland and professor of English at Lehman College (CUNY) .

    Okay- we get it. He’s 1 of them, but funny. Note the titular poem presents what seems to be a funny setting- even by the title’s juxtaposition of the activities? Recall, too, that the song mentioned is also the theme song to the old 3 Stooges films- an attempt at subliminalism. Excelsior:

    I Chop Some Parsley While Listening to Art Blakey's Version of 'Three Blind Mice'

    And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
    If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
    and I think of the poor mother
    brooding over her sightless young triplets.

    Or was it a common accident, all three caught
    in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
    If not,
    if each came to his or her blindness separately,

    how did they ever manage to find one another?
    Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
    to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
    let alone two other blind ones?

    And how, in their tiny darkness,
    could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
    or anyone else's wife for that matter?
    Not to mention why.

    Just so she could cut off their tails
    with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
    but the thought of them without eyes
    and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

    or slip around the corner of a baseboard
    has the cynic who always lounges within me
    up off his couch and at the window
    trying to hid the rising softness that he feels.

    By now I am on to dicing an onion
    which might account for the wet stinging
    in my own eyes, tough Freddie Hubbard's
    mournful trumpet on 'Blue Moon, '

    which happens to be the next cut,
    cannot be said to be making matters any better.

    Well, we basically get a running commentary on the old nursery rhyme. As if by taking the rhyme’s tale seriously we are sure to bust a gut. There is no real reason for this poem to be broken in to lines. I ask you- read it as a paragraph & it, at least, reads better:

    Meditation On Art Blakey's Version of 'Three Blind Mice'

    And I start wondering how they came to be blind. If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister, and I think of the poor mother brooding over her sightless young triplets. Or was it a common accident, all three caught in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps? If not, if each came to his or her blindness separately, how did they ever manage to find one another? Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse to locate even one fellow mouse with vision let alone two other blind ones? And how, in their tiny darkness, could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife or anyone else's wife for that matter?
    Not to mention why. Just so she could cut off their tails with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer, but the thought of them without eyes and now without tails to trail through the moist grass or slip around the corner of a baseboard has the cynic who always lounges within me up off his couch and at the window trying to hid the rising softness that he feels. By now I am on to dicing an onion which might account for the wet stinging in my own eyes, tough Freddie Hubbard's mournful trumpet on 'Blue Moon, ' which happens to be the next cut, cannot be said to be making matters any better.

    Unfortunately, the proem is still dull. Nothing poetic exists at all. No music, no fun, not even bad poetic clichés- just a Dead White Male’s dull masturbations on what is funny after years in The System. Frank O’Hara need not stir in his grave. Let’s take a 2nd shot at the poem- & keep it a poem.

    Art Blakey's Version of 'Three Blind Mice'

    By now I am on to dicing an onion
    which might account for the wet stinging
    in my own eyes, tough Freddie Hubbard's
    mournful trumpet on 'Blue Moon, '

    which happens to be the next cut,
    cannot be said to be making matters any better.

    The title now directly ties the poem to it- the action within can at least be seen as a metaphor for the titular song. Starting the poem in media res adds a little hop to the start. Still, the poem dies, its last line an unwitting prophecy. This poem is all too emblemic of BC’s corpus. He has 1 or 2 passable poems- in form- I believe, but that’s hardly enough to warrant publication, much less PL status.

    Replies for this message:
    • Max Reif (9/21/2005 7:46:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      The last line, to maintain that someone shouldn't be published? Why not go on to say he shouldn't have been born? As over the top as the New Orleans flood.

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/21/2005 4:39:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      Is this the Admiral Schneider (von Schneider) from 'Dinner For One? ' H

  • Michael Shepherd (9/20/2005 6:04:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    Since Diane di Prima says exactly what Dan Scheider evidently believes in despite his sneer, i.e. speaking truth and writing something fresh, perhaps we could have an example of her better (!) poetry posted here to judge from?

  • Lamont Palmer (9/20/2005 3:25:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    Heres an interesting take on Di Prima by Dan Schneider...a great critic, imho.


    ‘I think the poet is the last person who is still speaking the truth when no one else dares to. I think the poet is the first person to begin the shaping and visioning of the new forms and the new consciousness when no one else has begun to sense it; I think these are two of the most essential human functions’ -Diane Di Prima

    Thus another TOP essay starts- & for the 1st time, I believe, with an epigraph! Woo-hoo! You just know this TOP is gonna be a humdinger when it starts off with a quote this utterly insipid. That & the fact that the titular poem is almost emblemic for the Beatnik nonsense that was perpetrated last century &- well- hold on, boys & girls!
    OK, the central facts of DDP’s life: she was 1 of the 2 well-known Beatnik babes. Anne Waldman was the ‘sexy’ Beatnik babe & DDP was the ‘serious’ Beatnik babe. So serious, in fact, that she was dubbed a Poet Priestess, & other such nonsense terms by the boys in the gang, over a decade before the Flower Power crap of the late 1960s. Yet,1 has to credit DDP for changing with the times- something few of the Beatniks did. She has her own website- http: //dianediprima.com/-& you can even email her- ddiprima@earthlink.net. Nonetheless, there is virtually nothing of worth that nearly 50 years of writing has produced. Her ‘status’ as a Beatnik babe will long outlast her status as a ‘poet’. But, before I delve too deeply in to the mystery of why DDP is a bad poet, let’s take a look at DDP’s life, culled from an online bio.

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