Open and Closed: A Response to Adam Fieled

16 Comments

  1. Jared Stein
    Jared Stein January 25, 2010 at 6:10 am .

    Being able to read and fairly comprehend these two &quot;post-avant&quot; poems let me feel quite smart, and even comfortable–and this surprised me, and made me doubt either the label (as others did) or myself (which I would have done eventually anyway).<br /><br />All the others&#39; great comments already cover anything else I might add.

  2. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm .

    Awesome link, Anon. I always like knowing there’s method behind a madness. But it reminds me of something Kenneth Goldsmith wrote somewhere, to the effect that with the kind of writing he does, the result is often less interesting than the process that produced it. What does that say, I wonder, about a piece like Mac Low’s, whose process would be inaccessible (wouldn’t it?) without the

  3. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm .

    Good point, Lute. Who needs more chains?

  4. Lute
    Lute January 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm .

    "Why do I choose this poem to represent much of the best of what post-avant has to offer? Notice that, unlike SOQ poets, this poem is "doubled": the surface meaning is obviously not literally true (i.e. Young did not literally "force the clouds apart"), so the entire construct can be dealt with as an extended metaphor or allegory BUT, and this is the important thing, Young does not TELL US what

  5. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 16, 2009 at 11:45 pm .

    Hi, Chet! Yes, "Most poets delve on both sides of these labels," which makes me wonder who, exactly, has a stake in the labels and why….

  6. Chet Gresham
    Chet Gresham January 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm .

    I have been reading and writing poetry for a while now. I’ve gone through a MFA program. I read poetry mags and blogs and I’ve always completely skipped over all of these terms; I think mainly because the authors usually try so hard to elevate them way beyond what they are. Post-avant, SOQ, elliptical, whatever, they are loose labels to give poets a sense of belonging beyond that of just being

  7. Andrew Shields
    Andrew Shields January 15, 2009 at 9:20 pm .

    I think Strand’s text leaves a lot of things open even if it provides a sense of completeness, of wholeness. <BR/><BR/>But then it is a common mistake to think that if a text provides interpretation of itself than it is "closed." <BR/><BR/>Kundera’s novels have been seen as "closed" because he supposedly tells you how to interpret the characters, but the narrator’s interpretations of the

  8. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 12, 2009 at 8:16 pm .

    Hi, Joel—<BR/><BR/>It may be a "light bulb" because in English classes we are generally taught to "find the meaning" of a poem. Extensive openness is not allowed. That’s why the Mark Young poems Adam quoted would be tough for your average English teacher to deal with, not least because they tend to undermine the code/decode model of reading we’ve adopted for teaching literature.<BR/><BR/>I would

  9. jejacobson
    jejacobson January 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm .

    Another thought…I’m newly processing your idea of openness. I originally interpreted it as not hiding anything, not wearing any masks, being authentic, etc. But now I’m realizing the idea in poetic terms of not forcing just one meaning in the poem, allowing the poem to be open and independent. I don’t know why this is such a light bulb for me…

  10. jejacobson
    jejacobson January 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm .

    Great thoughts Joe! Surprisingly, I made Silliman’s blog too. I really like the idea of getting over the camps and all being poets. That may be asking for a pretty big sacrifice for many people. But it definitely enriches the conversation!

  11. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm .

    Hello, Brian &amp; Andrew—<BR/><BR/>Re: &quot;What do to with one&#39;s shit&quot;, maybe best to use it as fertilizer….<BR/><BR/>And listen, Andrew—true story—I had typed up &quot;Keeping Things Whole&quot; for this very purpose, but decided the statement at the end, as open as it is, isn&#39;t &quot;open&quot; in the way Adam/Hejinian et. al. mean it. Besides, I liked using Simic because he&#

  12. Andrew Shields
    Andrew Shields January 12, 2009 at 11:05 am .

    I like those two Mark Young poems. I would have compared the first to Mark Strand’s famous poem "Keeping Things Whole", and then the contrast between quietude and post-avant breaks down completely. <BR/><BR/>The second could have been by Adrienne Rich, but she’s done better,<BR/><BR/>I’m surprised to see these two held up as exemplary post-avant poems, as there’s nothing particularly formally

  13. brian a j salchert
    brian a j salchert January 12, 2009 at 12:23 am .

    "Maybe we need to take the notion of openness beyond our texts and into our lives."<BR/><BR/>Absolutely; and ever since I began to seriously reconnect with other writers/ this has been the central gist of my comments, but I have felt this way since my early puberty. <BR/> <BR/>Here is part of a sentence from page 159 of Timothy Morton’s <B>

  14. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm .

    I have my doubts, too<BR/><BR/>!

  15. knott
    knott January 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm .

    I can understand both of those Mark Young poems,<BR/><BR/>and by that criterion<BR/><BR/>they can’t be avantgarde<BR/><BR/>!

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