A response to my friend Kent Johnson over in the comment-stream at Reginald Shepherd's blog :

"Kent, I don't think you've read my posts carefully. I know it's not easy to do in these comment-box streams.

I'm sorry if my tone seemed cantankerous here.

It seems to me that Reginald, in his closing paragraphs above, misreads the substance of some of the arguments which were made in those comments. And then he personalized it with a psychologizing attack on those who questioned his position.

The point was not being made that we are still living in the atmosphere of the 50s & 60s. In fact the point being made was just the opposite.

I never claimed that the work of the Chicago Critics was my own invention. I don't care what kind of shirts they wore, either. I'm claiming that their insights into poetic form are relevant to the issues raised, having to do with the current and future developments in poetic style.

How do the Chi School ideas relate to the NAP poets? I already went over that in my comment posts. My argument was that poetry, in relation to "the big outside" (outside academia, outside in-house solipsism, etc.), should be thought of as a form of action or gesture, which is not really "actualized", as an aesthetic form, until it is "performed", in some sense, in the "gray area" of the common world, the general public sphere. Aesthetic form is not reducible to the verbal construct alone, or the text alone, contra both the New Critics & the post-structuralists.

The NAP poets, as standing somewhat outside the New Critical academic consensus about literary form, were making, to some degree anyway, such a public "gesture".

I never liked Robert Duncan's poetry."

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