I was thinking of you, David, in the context of the Stevens poem, "The American Sublime"(1935):

How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?

(Let this serve as your chihuahua for today.)

Everyone brings what light they have to this subject (the subject of the poetry blogs, that is). I have a problem with the bicameral criticism emanating from the so-called "avant". That is one of my big themes on hgpoetics. I've tried to look at it in different ways. What strikes me again & again is how often poetic "experiment" leads to obscurity & self-indulgence. & I attribute this tendency in large part to the teachers poets & critics who parlay the binary theory of US literary history. Ie. the theory that there is an inimical centrist mainstream which is both corrupt and cliched, and the only way to get around it is by Russian formalist-futurist "making strange" (a process which becomes mannered & cliched in its own ways).

Far better to read the tradition of poetry in English on its own terms, take as much from it as you can, and bend it to contemporary awareness & concerns. Far better to make no assumptions about your audience, but to conduct an inward critique of your own ethical and aesthetic motives (under which aegis you undertook to write poetry in the first place).

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