Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good Shepherd

Reginald Shepherd's "One State of the Art" is yet another fine piece of prose from the pen or keyboard of RS:

"Reversing Pound's dictum that technique is the test of a poet's sincerity, many contemporary American poets seem to believe that technique is instead a sign of insincerity, that something too apparently shapely cannot be deeply felt, or that the urgencies of feeling are necessarily at odds with the imperatives of form."

"... what Allen Grossman has called the four tasks that the significant poet must be expected to perform: to point out what is significant in the world of common experience; to defeat given expectations with respect to how things are assembled (and poems themselves are very much in the category of 'things'); to make clear how difficult it is to make meaning; and to make clear how interesting the world is."

I also liked this tidbit from D. W. Fenza's "Who Keeps Killing Poetry?", a link I found thanks to John Gallaher:

"Poets often allude to other poets, not because they like to show off or generate footnotes, but because they love to enter that mysterious communal place where the dead, the living, and future generations exchange their gifts with one another. Poetry is the loveliest of all conversations, for it seeks to belong to no one person but to overlapping and concentric circles of self, friends, family, tribes, communities, and humanity."

No comments: