I've deleted previous negative comments. It's a mistake for me to disparage critical grids or ordering patterns, since I've done it plenty of times myself, and also since the massive amount of contemporary poetry makes this kind of mapping very understandable - though I do think there's a danger in reductive labels.

My own typical past tendencies in making judgements often involved an exaggerated desire to preserve or delineate some lost path of tradition, or the accomplishment & technical dazzle of former days. Reading in Wallace Stevens lately, and re-reading BJ Leggett's excellent book, Wallace Stevens and Poetic Theory, is maybe providing me a somewhat altered perspective.

Stevens - as opposed to the entire Eliot/New Critical school, and as opposed to Harold Bloom (a critic obsessed in his own fashion with Stevens) - put strong & repeated emphasis on uniqueness, individual expression, originality, and multiplicity. He anticipated Bloom's position long before, and mocked the idea of anxiety of influence & continuity of Tradition (saying something to the effect that, if we're all compounded of other poets, and never distinctly ourselves, then why not simply have one poet - Hesiod would do well).

I think this notion of uniqueness & multiplicity may be the strongest antidote to binary team poetics such as the Silliman formation. These lines of Stevens encapsulate the attitude:

And out of what one sees and hears and out
Of what one feels, who could have thought to make
So many selves, so many sensuous worlds,
As if the air, the mid-day air, was swarming
With the metaphysical changes that occur,
Merely in living as and where we live.

Sheer multiplicity, variety, oddity, distinctive originality - these are probably the most impressive qualities presented by American poetry in the last 100 years.

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