Thursday, June 10, 2004

Wow. That's a big matzoh ball: poetry and the political. I'm not sure what to make of those prose poem-type things. And I think inappropriate might be the best word for them. I don't think they do much for me or for any agenda Kurt Johnson might be promoting. I agree, Nate, that the dramatic monologue should try to explore the psychology of its subject, and they fail to do it. These prose things are just poking fun at a situation that, I don't think, could be made fun of. At least not like this.

About the poetry and politics, Alice Fulton was really insistent in class that "All poetry is political . . . Everything is political," although I don't think she meant it precisely in the way we're talking about it hear. There is political poetry that is very veiled, very separate from the nuts and bolts, explicitly political . . . And then you have some people (Rich, Forché, etc.) who've tackled the political overtly . . . .

It's hard, I've been writing some poems lately (in the last six months or so) that have been very explicitly political, in my opinion, and when I've showed them to other people, they don't necessarily think they are. I think that I have to stand by my mantra: you can say anything and write about anything in a poem as long as it's done artfully and with craft. These not only lack craft but fail to accomplish anything at all.

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Shameless self-promotion: I've got two poems in the new can we have our ball back?. I've submitted a bunch of times and I figured I had no chance with them. Apparently I do.

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