Monday, January 30, 2006

Steve Evans is writing an astonishing piece about some of the dealings that went on to result in the Lilly payday for Poetry magazine.

..that was just part one. There's more to check in with at that link now and the rest of this week.


At 12:16 PM, Blogger Dave said...

What Evans hasn't commented on is John Barr's very confused notion of poetry as "Entertainment" (the capital E is important there) - a poetry that is both skillfully written and easy to comprehend, a morally fulfilling and (one assumes) didactic poetry. I attended one of his talks where he was questioned about how he is able to hold up Pound and Stevens as exemplary poets while also agitating against experiment in poetry. He had no ready answer to this, except to say that, "After years of reading The Waste Land, I find it deeply entertaining."

As entertaining as Kurtz quoting Eliot in Apocalypse Now?

To mention Ted Kooser, for example, and Ezra Pound as equally exemplary might be uneasy for some, but if someone is ecumenical enough to believe it, that's great. The problem is that Barr doesn't appear to be - in any way - ecumenical in spirit.

Past editors of Poetry have had the great skill and taste to see quality in drastically various work (editors like founder Harriet Monroe, Henry Rago, even Karl Shapiro). Why has the famous Open Door Policy foundered?


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