the narrowing of what defines good poetry

I have been lamenting for years it seems the narrowing of what defines good poetry in this country as a handful of angling critical voices keep making claims for a new cosmopolitan poetry which reads to me like shorthand for poems displaying decorous or ideosyncratic language, formal traditional elements, abstruse imagery, little real human emotion or strong narrative aspects, and a morbid disdain for the first person.

This is not to say some very fine or even great poems have not been written from such a perspective, for indeed they have, but why the nagging belief any poems written outside such a confined purview or “lens” are slight and without merit? Does this not say more about the critic’s own aesthetic, his or her own tastes, than it does about how well a different kind of poem functions as a poem?

- Chris Banks, returning to his too-often-neglegted poetry blog Table Music. You can read the whole thing here.


I Am The Russian Queen said...

yes. am thinking about this. alot.

daniela elza said...

Me too. I have not only been thinking about this a LOT. I have even started writing poetry about it--which scares me. Which tells me it has affected me more than I would care to admit.
heh! so a poet's got to do what a poet's got to do. Have to go even places I do not want to go on some days.

this narrowing needs a bit of widening. :-)

Rob Taylor said...

Ok, let's get you two and Chris in a room to see who's been thinking about this the most.

I want hard numbers - maybe we can do some tests with an EEG or something?