Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bad blog, boring blog

Most blogs about newly-published poems and current writing are bad and boring because most new poems are bad and boring, and trying to inflate them into subjects of real or permanent interest just won't work. It was always so. We forget how many poems have to disappear to create our impression of an era. Donne and Milton and Pope and Swift and Wordsworth and Keats and Frost and Yeats were not representative of their times--that's why we remember them. Elkanah Settle and Archibald McLeish--they were representative. But they wouldn't have been very interesting to monitor on a daily bloggy basis. Those trying to keep us up to date on What's New keep butting their heads against this immoveable wall.

It is of course possible to write sharp and funny disparagements of bad poems, but as a regular exercise, it isn't good for you, and it's wearing. And that's one of the problems with reading/writing about new poems all the time: you know in advance that most of what you're going to read will be bad. How can that be good?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The summer doldrums

seem to have begun in spring.  Global warming, I presume.  It seems quiet and sort of half hearted around the poetry areas where I read.  Perhaps the activity is all taking place in a Room of Requirements or a new branch of the He-Man Woman-Haters' Club*, undisclosed to me.  I attribute the silence here to a general sense of awe, readers struck dumb by wonder.  Occam might suggest a simpler explanation.

*Are allusions to The Little Rascals still generally comprehensible?  If I sing the "Happy Birthday, Mr. Hood" song, will anyone know what he got as a gift?