Friday, June 21, 2013

"Why Is Contemporary American Poetry So Good?"

article at the Huffington Post's about demographics, aspiration, venue, quantity. 

Nowhere did I read an explanation of why contemporary American poetry is so good. Nowhere did I read anything about criteria having to do with actual quality, craft, aesthetics. No examples of good poems were presented.

After such an article title, why would he go on to say:
Because you cannot judge the poetry of any era on the basis of a case-by-case aesthetic analysis of its merits....

After reading the longish article, I felt kind of hoodwinked. I expected the author to actually tell me why contemporary American poetry is so good. I thought I would read what poets and poems he thought were good and why. But right there in the middle of the article, he says such a thing can't be talked about.

Instead, he seems to be saying merely that it's a good thing so many people are writing and reading contemporary American poetry. No poems here and now can be evaluated as good poems, because only posterity can bestow such a judgement.   

So he should have titled his article "Why Is The Contemporary American Poetry Scene So Vibrant?" That way, I would not have been hoodwinked. 

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