Jordan sez: "I wonder (I'm always wondering, call it a character flaw) whether Ron's p-A/SoQ distinction isn't at bottom about prosody and diction."

I think it's about trying to define what is especially "American" in poetry in English (& implicitly identifying what is "American" with what is lively, contemporary, etc. in English poetry worldwide - a globalization-effect).

It's agonistic/dialectical - defining what is by comparison with what, supposedly is not (SoQ is not really American, except as some kind of effete remnant of colonial imitation, or ersatz product of a stodgy, artificial pecking-order/system).

Such pigeonholes are convenient for making snap judgements. But I think they continually bump up against uncategorizable examples.

Trying to examine some of the distinctive qualities of modern & contemporary American poetry could be a very interesting project, an aspect of some kind of larger project of cultural self-awareness & reflection (where have we come from? how does this surface in our writing today?). However, it would be better to try to ground such in a more disinterested framework of literary values. In Ron's framework, there is already a body of progressive/oppositional/approved poetry, and the effort involves matching & absorbing ever more & new examples & products to the existing model of value. It's a kind of collective self-promotion. The binary/agonistic/sports model facilitates this process of self-congratulation : there's always a negative shadow which sets off our shining lights.

By contrast, what I mean by a "disinterested framework of values" would involve comparisons and investigations of contemporary work within a much broader field : ie. world literature.

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