Revelation and Relevance in Poetry


  1. brian a j salchert
    brian a j salchert December 21, 2008 at 8:57 pm .

    Maybe so.<BR/>-<BR/>Am conversing with my diviner, Romanus.<BR/>-<BR/>But there is a junk dealer<BR/>who just may have <BR/>the cleanest junkyard in the world.

  2. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison December 19, 2008 at 9:18 pm .

    K.: So flarfing is a kind of compliment, yes? And an assertion of relevance. Why flarf Kooser’s poem if the poem isn’t relevant? Oh—I guess the poem could be irrelevant, only made relevant by flarfing…? If the latter, well … hasn’t Warhol been here before?<BR/><BR/>William: Yes to each and every sentence! Hence the difficulty for poets who can’t or won’t practice non-attachment: one never

  3. William Michaelian
    William Michaelian December 19, 2008 at 7:10 pm .

    And now a note from the asylum:<BR/><BR/>Trees are relevant all year ’round. So are babies and loaves of bread. Also relevant is any form of labor that’s honestly pursued. Whatever your work, whatever your vision, offer it in good faith and move on. Poetry, like life, is always changing, and it’s far bigger than any one person or group can grasp. In my view, that’s cause for celebration.

  4. K. Silem Mohammad
    K. Silem Mohammad December 19, 2008 at 7:05 pm .

    "Flarf," unlike the terms "quietist" or "avant-garde," refers at least originally not just to a loose general tendency, but to the works of a specific group of individual writers, none of whom are connected with the <I>Issue 1</I> "anthology" (well, <I>originally</I> it referred to the FloridA Renaissance Faire, but…).<BR/><BR/>It is true that the term is also now often used in relation to any

  5. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison December 19, 2008 at 6:00 pm .

    Comments are not always as good or better than the original post on any blog, so going 3 for 3 (I’m counting Mr. Mohammed’s comments as one) is pretty impressive.<BR/><BR/>Re: K.’s: Thanks for both clarifications. I didn’t know who (or technically <I>what</I>, I suppose) was behind <I>Issue 1</I>, but I found it both pointless and funny, which is my private definition of Flarf. It’s always like

  6. Seth Abramson
    Seth Abramson December 19, 2008 at 9:44 am .

    Hi Joseph,<BR/><BR/>I do think I talked about the notion of how content informs relevance, but it was buried in a much longer post I’ll admit.<BR/><BR/>More importantly, regarding MFA programs: they’re a symptom as much as anything else; society is changing in a hundred ways which give poetry its best opportunity yet to expand its <EM>committed</EM> community by presenting a different face to the

  7. brian a j salchert
    brian a j salchert December 19, 2008 at 4:51 am .

    ". . . authentic poetry is always liberated from even its creator’s own constraints. It’s that sense of liberation, of imaginative openness and revelation, that creates poetry’s audience and its relevance over time."<BR/><BR/>To me, your statements around the idea of "the matter at hand" are <BR/>more valuable than those about Kasey and Seth. It is tempting to go on at length about them, but

  8. K. Silem Mohammad
    K. Silem Mohammad December 19, 2008 at 2:17 am .

    Also, <I>Issue 1</I> had nothing to do with Flarf. It was put together by some students of Goldsmith’s.<BR/><BR/>Also, most Flarf does not "rel[y] on mechanical operations to create its content" any more than any form of writing involving collage relies on certain preparatory procedures (assembling found materials, etc.). That is, although search engines are often used by the poet as a

  9. K. Silem Mohammad
    K. Silem Mohammad December 19, 2008 at 2:04 am .

    Thanks for your response, Joseph. I just want to attempt to clarify one point: you write that I imply "that relevance exists in poetry’s means of production, from which it is transferred to its finished poetic product," but in the passage in question, what I actually say is that I have trouble seeing either Goldsmith’s or Hoy’s arguments as "rigorous analys[e]s of the way in which poetry

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