An Author's Assemblage: Brief Notes and Notices

The accumulation of posts to this web page serves merely as an author’s assemblage of brief notes and notices: the collection of informal bits of information, quotations, and observations gathered as one way to display a personal reflection of perceptions on poetry, publication, and related selections of material drawn from my perspectives as a poet or professor of literature and creative writing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

James Longenbach on the Resistance to Poetry

“Poets have been on the defensive at least since the time of Plato, and rightly so, since philosophers and literary critics have distrusted poetry. But poems do not necessarily ask to be trusted. Their language revels in duplicity and disjunction, making it difficult for us to assume that any particular poetic gesture is inevitably responsible or irresponsible to the culture that gives the language meaning: a poem’s obfuscation of the established terms of accountability might be the poem’s most accountable act—or it might not. Distrust of poetry (its potential for inconsequence, its pretension to consequence) is the stuff of poetry. And the problem with many defenses of poetry is the refusal to recognize that the enemy lies within.” —From The Resistance to Poetry (University of Chicago Press, 2004) by James Longenbach

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