Sunday, December 29, 2013
I have little patience for...
...American poetry not influenced by German Romanticism -- from Novalis and Robert Schumann to Mahler, Thomas Mann, and W.G. Sebald. I'm sorry it has to be this way.
I have little patience for American poetry not influenced by the French Symbolists -- from Rimbaud to Mallarmé and Verlaine. I'm sorry it has to be this way.
I have little patience for American poetry not influenced by Ashkenazi consciousness -- from Kafka and Bruno Schulz to Abraham Sutzkever, Paul Celan, and Adam Zagajewski. I'm sorry it has to be this way.
Why should all that stuff from way over there be given precedence over purely American styles of experience and consciousness transposed to poetry?
My answer is another question: what is the point of the greatest writers and poets if we, over here, don't internalize and re-manifest their spiritual, metaphysical, artistic discoveries?
Poetry not implicitly haunted by or hued with aspects of spiritual melancholy and metaphysical irony is, in my opinion, beside the point and constitutes a shallow hectoring of the blank page.
Suspicion should be the rule toward our stridently self-absorbed American forms of consciousness. The older, farther varieties still glow with a silver sheen of mysterious aesthetic wonder and humility.
Am I a snob? So be it. Art is a questioning of time and being, not a depository for squeaking neurosis and hyperbolized predicament.
I'm sorry it has to be this way.