Open and Closed, Part 2: Another Response to Adam Fieled

7 Comments

  1. William Michaelian
    William Michaelian January 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm .

    Last night, for the very first time, my 86-year-old mother admitted that her vision is so bad she can’t read anymore. No more Longfellow, no more Gibran, no more Whitman, no more Dickinson. Not even the work of her own son. Time is short: we must find a way to bring light, my friends.

  2. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm .

    Welcome, Ron. Maybe I’ve misread your obsessive attacks on Kooser, Stafford, and the other poets you lump them with. It seems like fury to me, but maybe it’s simply condescension. (Cold oatmeal? Well, condescension doesn’t have to be clever.) I’ve found myself too frequently possessed by that same attitude (condescension), and nine times out of ten it’s led me to misunderstand, misread, and

  3. Ron
    Ron January 18, 2009 at 4:49 am .

    I can’t imagine ever feeling "fury" at Kooser or Stafford. That’s like getting angry at cold oatmeal,<BR/><BR/>Ron

  4. Chet Gresham
    Chet Gresham January 17, 2009 at 1:53 am .

    I love so-called "closed" poems because good ones are so open!

  5. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison January 16, 2009 at 11:53 pm .

    Great comments, Andrew! And Joel … yeah, I was pushing toward parody; projecting myself into the mind of a Ph.D. candidate struggling to find his thesis. But yes, all "closures" are open to discussion, whether one puns or goes punless. The main thing is to keep in mind that no reading is "final," even when it’s a reading of a supposedly "closed" poet.

  6. jejacobson
    jejacobson January 16, 2009 at 10:39 pm .

    Joe,<BR/>In terms of openness, what are your views on "closing" a poem in order get into its core? For example, with the Simic poem, you listed several possibilities (too the point of parody?)of interpretation. If all of these closures were open to discussion (I couldn’t resist the pun, sorry), can’t that help the reader open up to the poem’s possibilities?

  7. Andrew Shields
    Andrew Shields January 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm .

    Let me quote that bit from Fieled on the Simic poem: "I cannot help but read these chairs as signifying the twelve disciples of Christ."<BR/><BR/>Back in the late nineties, I translated a lot of German art criticism into English, for art catalogues in Basel, Berlin, and elsewhere. Much of the work under discussion was quite compelling; much of the criticism was much less so.<BR/><BR/>Fieled’s

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