maanantaina, marraskuuta 22, 2004

You, Too, Could Write a Poem (Then, Why Don't You?)

The New York Times on The Best American Poetry 2004, edited by Lyn Hejinian:

Considering that the Best American series is about as mainstream as poetry gets, it's tempting to view Hejinian's editorship as a signal that the guerrilla fighters are now riding into town to become sheriffs.

There are several problems with this picture, though, and the first is one that has long troubled American poets: for the average, engaged reader (the Best American's target audience), even fairly accessible poems can be maddeningly arcane. The second problem, which is related to the first, is that in the poetry world, even the insiders are outsiders. As it happens, poets who could reasonably be called ''experimental'' are currently sitting in Chancellors' seats at the Academy of American Poets, occupying faculty lounges from Buffalo to Berkeley, and of course, editing the Best American Poetry. To the extent there's a Poetry Establishment, these writers have been as much a part of it as anyone else for decades now. »

Oh yeah? Sitting in Chancellors' seats and occupying faculty lounges? Now, where were you, the Paper of Record, during the decades when they weren't? And why can't you say their names?