My personal concept of what a poet is & does, allows for a different definition of "reader, reading"... like the old medieval technical term, lectio, lector. A "reader (lecturer)" in theology, philosophy, etc. The poet as solitary, hermit - making poem, making book. The poetry reading as a late event in life or career.

No one wants to go back to that subdued era when poetry was limited to verses in print, & middle-aged profs mumbling at a lectern; nevertheless, I think the pendulum could afford to swing back a little now.

The term "poetry" covers an enormous range of activities & forms of writing/performing. I guess that theory of poetry appeals to me which sets the bar at the highest level of human doings, I mean just under prayer & acts of charity. Dante & Shakespeare & Dickinson & Whitman - their language art places them somewhere at the "brow of reality", so to speak - capable of engaging directly with, & on a par with, all the other forms of spiritual, intellectual & practical activity. Eliot was right when he said that this doesn't happen without the expenditure of great labor & devotion - no matter how much talent & facility the artist starts out with.

In this context I find something slightly jarring in the atmosphere which uses poetry as means to advance improv comedy acts, literary funfests, "scenes". Sorry, that's just how I see it. (I suppose I need to get out more. It's just that I find most poetry boring & narcissistic, & most artists vain & pretentious. & I include myself in that category.)

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