Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dead End

I never meant this to be poems, that's just what happened. A poem a day. Some of them are good. Charles Simic's essay on Robert Creeley in the New York Review (10/25/07) shakes me awake. He respects "the prototypical American proclivity since Whitman and Dickinson for speaking in the name of an extraordinary single self, which nevertheless feels itself to be representative." (I did that as a critic, too.) But Creeley "convinced himself that the only authentic act for a poet is to report what is in his mind at the time of writing," which is exactly what I have been doing. "He continued to believe that some bit of language that came out of the blue could be a poem…" Indeed it can. That's what I do, grab a couple of words and follow what arises, with no content but myself; the solipsism implied is false, shallow, craven. Of Creeley: "It's a pity that he felt the need to remain faithful to ideas about composition long after it became clear that they not only were limiting him but were a dead end." Take that. I have no ideas, by which he means theories, much bandied about with Robert Duncan and others. I just write. No more poems (for now).

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