Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I am a Skeptic

So someone with whom I generally disagree (and who is a big fan of 2d art and the avant garde) gave me an excellent explanation of why I heartily dislike all things trendy, flashy, and "experimental" in poetry. She says:

"Further, intellectuals have always been skeptical; that's what they do. Bertrand Russell, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Margaret Mead, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thorough, Walt Whitman, Charles Olsen [sic], Gary any intellectual who accomplished anything and see if he or she was not skeptical of previous work in his or her field."

Too right.
Post Modernism and the Avant Garde (good band name, btw) is the previous work in my field. Ergo, I am skeptical of it.

The work, of course, is finding out what the new work in my field will be.

Narrative long-form poetry anyone?


Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Henry Thoreau

Diana Manister said...


Narrative long form poetry a post-post modern innovation?

Can we say Beowulf, Bhagavad Gita, The Faery Queene, Gilgamesh, Mahabharata, Iliad, Odyssey, Book of Job, Edda, La Chanson de Roland, La Chanson de Roland, Morte Arthure, Orlando furioso, Endymion, Hyperion, Don Juan, The Prelude, Paterson, The Changing Light at Sandover, The Descent of Alette, The Maximus Poems....

Next you'll be inventing the sonnet!



G. M. Palmer said...

first off: the maximus poems are in no way a long form narrative.
second: the pomos didn't invent anything.
third: i was talking about inmovation, not invention. we can hardly invent anything new in writing.

notley's alette is a good example of what i'm thinking about but she seems to have viewed the poem as a one-off. she also has to fight the dreadful punctuation and the tired philosophy
but it's a start. the problem is partially a commercial one. there's nonreliable, consistent house for narrative poetry.

anyway, i am calling for innovation in what poetry is doing, not more tired "experiments."

G. M. Palmer said...

apologies for weird typos. i'm using my phone.

Anonymous said...

It's Olson, not Olsen. Olson!

Ed S. said...

Back to the practical business of long-form narrative verse.

What are the best "tags" to use on Youtube so that droves of people will come listen to one's poems?

I'm trying "poem poetry narrative verse" but traffic is pretty slow.

Kirby Olson said...

Olsen with the e is Norwegian.

Olson with the o is Swedish.

Chazbo's dad was a Swede.

Mine was a Norwegian, but they goofed it up at Ellis Island.