Thursday (Exahustion) Musings

I’m tired. My eyes are tired. It has gotten to the point where I have enhanced the size of my computer screen because the regular sized font is starting to blur. Part of the problem is these fluorescent lights. But mostly I’m tired, and while the end of the week is in sight, I don’t think there is going to be any rest for me until after the first of the year.

Earlier this week, I was completely taken with the issue of Poetry I had bought at our local newsstand. I sent out my subscription letter (something I’ve been meaning to do for months) and set about to reading the great Adam Kirsch essay and the reviews. The essay was great, and I’m sure I’ll also enjoy A Guildhall Summons: Poetry, Politics, and Leanings Left, too. However, the first set of reviews by Carmine Starnino, well enjoy is not exactly the word I would use.

I have not read the Boland book or any of the books for that matter, that Starnino reviewed. Between my thesis, teaching four courses, the creative writing club, and life, my reading time has been cut down quite a bit this semester. I’ll be better in the spring.

All that aside, I can see why one of my fellow poets had this to say about Poetry: “I either want to call everyone I know and tell them about the issue or I want to throw it against a wall.” That’s pretty much how I felt when I read those reviews last night.

While it obvious that Starnino is knowledgeable and highly intelligent, it is also obvious that he knows it. It may be because I find myself constantly defending poetry and poets to my students who accuse both of being pretentious and high brow, that I’m particularly sensitive to snobbery. At times the condensation seems to come through a little too much. I mean if a book isn’t any good, it isn’t any good but I felt like with some of these reviews (Boland especially) the books were being shot, hacked up, buried underground, and then a high rise was built on top of the grave site.

That being said, he did convince me to check out The Currach Requires No Harbours.

Visual Poetry?

Wednesday (Origami Swans) Musings

I received several origami swans from one of my students today and it made me think back to when I tried origami. I was a kid, and I didn’t really have the patience for it. This fact amuses me now because of what I’ve chosen as a profession: poetry/teaching. Both require infinite patience, but somehow I couldn’t manage origami.

Paul McCartney. A man of many talents a lot of freaking money:


Adam Kirsch has an essay, The Fight for Recognition, in Poetry. It’s an interesting essay and below are some excerpts I pulled out that I found thought provoking:

It is because writing is a communication of one’s mind and experience–one’s being–that it promises to gratify the original desire of spirit: to have one’s being confirmed by having it acknowledged by others. Writers makes others the mirror of the self.

Because there is not enough money in the world, people steal; because there is not enough power, people do violence; because there is not enough recognition, they make art.

Online, there are no mediating institutions–no editors, magazines, publishing houses, or critics with the power to confer or protect literary reputation.

So too with the virtual mind of the inconceivable future. When it looks for traces of us, it will not turn to novels or poems, but to emails, blogs, and Facebook pages.