[lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 22:17:39 -0500

>>I'm not sufficiently interested in it to buy a bio of Merwin (if a bio 

I don't know of any bio of Merwin.  There's this at Wikipedia 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._S._Merwin  You can try John Burt, I suppose he 
still belongs to Kramer's little list.

>>You like some of Merwin's poetry but are content with what you get out of it. 
>> Perhaps there is no temptation to try and write like Merwin.<<

No, I've never been tempted to try to write like Merwin.  I write ditties and 
doggerel, not poetry.  

>>Perhaps you are so set in your ways that no other poet can interfere with 
>>your writing style.<<

Well, I do aspire to write like Ogden Nash and Calvin Trillin.  I don't have 
the talent for serious writing, but I can spin funny rhymes sometimes to poke 
fun at people and ideas.  No poetry there, just fun and games.

>> Perhaps there is nothing you want to learn from Merwin.<<

No, I just want to use him for my Spiritual Sexual needs.

>> I read a bio of him long ago, but perhaps more has been discovered.  Perhaps 
>> the new one will be more insightful.  Unfortunately nothing is likely to 
>> make his poetry more interesting.<<

I've never read the biography of any poet.  I read the Bell Jar by Plath, but 
that doesn't count.  In fact, I can't remember reading a biography of any one 
in any field ever.  Biographies just don't interest me.  I'm too busy with my 
own life to spend my precious time of reading about some dead celebrity.  But I 
know many people who read nothing but biographies.  Go figure.

>>Dream Songs has been seen as being influenced by Whitman's "Song of Myself." 

Seen by whom?  That seems quite a stretch to me.  Unless you mean that they 
both wrote poetry.

>>What we sophisticated like are victims.  Someone needs to be a victim to be 
>>the subject of something serious -- a nice drug problem, being haunted by the 
>>CIA or FBI, being pursued, framed, misrepresented, hopeless, hounded, 
>>haunted, or buried alive.   Well I have seen that, or think I have seen that, 
>>and don't like it. <<

Well, I'm not sure how this fits into our theme, but if you say so, I'm not 
going to argue.  The theme I thought was the need to know what the poet 
intended for any valid interpretation.  I responded by telling you what a poem 
means to me and admitting that I'm not sure what the poet intended and argued 
that to me, at least, it was irrelevant  what the poet meant in writing it.  My 
argument, I insisted, does not claim to invalidate any other theory of poetry 
interpretation, all approaches, I claim, are valid and equal before the world.  
You still disagree with my thesis, so I guess we'll just have to agree to 

Mike Geary


Other related posts: