Playing doubles with Joe & Jordan:
Frames are games. Critical games with little round counters & a checkerboard. The yucky feeling of reviews, yes, most of the time; because the reviewer (me) is thinking "this is an easy assignment". The words are anybody's, without much commitment or authenticity.
But let's suppose somebody who can respond with feeling & intelligence & new insight. So criticism might be possible in that case. & if the frames are inadequate, can they be made to work more adequately? In reference to Joe's comments about globalism & war & all : is it legitimate to propose general ideas about how poetry in general responds meaningfully to the world in crises? I really don't know the answer to this.
I sent an email to a list recently complaining about the inadequacy of a CK Williams poem at the back page of this week's New Yorker. Inadequate to me, anyway. So why? I sensed a combination of complacency, vagueness, & cheap tricks ("fire" as a metaphor for general sense of doom & blame the gummint).
I remember with fear & trembling long harangues & debates on Buff List & SubSubpoetics over "general rules" (frames); that puts me in trepidation. But I'm tempted again to look for a way of asking for something of poetry - something between Ron's alternative dialect dialectic, & the typical sleight-of-hand of professional poets represented by the CK Williams poem. Authenticity? Complex engagement? Patience? Unwillingness to rhetorize a reality? What is this called in poetics?
Just blabbing, as usual, ever & anon. Maybe it has something to do with looking for poetry as opposed to the verbalized "positioning" of writers on different spots on the political scale. To focus on the resources of poetry so intensely that it begins to speak to ALL sides, without equivocation. Another idealized frame-up?
More leaven from Henry the blabbing fair-see.
My father, in his mid-70s, still plays poker with his friends from high school. The game-player. A lawyer, it was all about winning games. Now that he's retired, it's games all the time. Up & Down the River with my daughter. I remember the eternal Sunday afternoons, too quiet, us kids at loose ends, Mom & Dad & Aunt Martha & Grandma playing bridge, so quietly. Chuckling now & then. The Mississippi River down in its canyon across the street.