Friday, November 4, 2011


Well, look what I found a nanosecond after I posted the last post..a review of Beautiful and Pointless, A Guide to Modern Poetry, by Daniel Orr, a poetry critic. I know, it's taken me more than I nanosecond to post, but here it is, just in time for your weekend surfing...

And an excerpt to warm you up:

"Orr claims that most people not deeply familiar with poetry assume that the form is a personal enterprise and that poets are mostly in the business of baring their souls. It is therefore considered akin to an act of cruelty to be a critic of poetic self-expression. 'Is it any surprise that an art form whose conventions are largely unknown, and whose practitioners often seem to be addressing themselves, has come to be seen — by lay readers, anyway — as presumptively personal?' Orr asks, 'As something it seems cruel to criticize?'

"But poetry isn't actually all that personal. It might seem to be so from all the personal statements contained in poems. That's an illusion, though. Poetry, Orr claims, uses the language of personal revelation as a vehicle for getting across images and ideas. We are thus under no obligation to coddle the sometimes painful personal material of poems. We are free to address them as poetic acts, playing with form and language that, seen in the proper context, have their own rules for success and failure. The first misunderstanding duly dispatched, Orr is now free to dig deeper into the mystery that is contemporary poetry."

And if you want something else to do this weekend, jump into the November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge. Who knows what epiphanies might come tripping out of your mouth?

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