The Poetry of Sarah Palin


  1. Gary B. Fitzgerald
    Gary B. Fitzgerald July 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm .

    Kidding, Iain…just kidding. The original joke, posted at Silliman&#39;s blog long ago, went like this:<br /><br />&quot;Isn&#39;t &quot;Avant-garde poetry&quot; an oxymoron?&quot;<br /><br />It was about that time that I also had a little row with Matt about whether a &#39;prose poem&#39; could really be considered poetry. Same, pardon the pun, concept here.<br /><br />I just don&#39;t believe

  2. Iain
    Iain July 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm .

    how so Gary?<br /><br />It&#39;s redundant if anything. I&#39;m not seeing what you might mean by oxymoron. Poetry and concepts are opposed to each other?

  3. Gary B. Fitzgerald
    Gary B. Fitzgerald July 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm .

    Isn&#39;t &#39;Conceptual poetry&#39; an oxymoron?

  4. Iain
    Iain July 23, 2009 at 9:18 am .

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Matt
    Matt July 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm .

    Why the blanket dismissal of comic strips? You can&#39;t just say &quot;fuck you&quot; to an entire genre of art and not expect to be seen as a snob.

  6. vazambam
    vazambam July 22, 2009 at 5:59 am .

    &quot;I sometimes wish I could beam myself 150 years into the future just to see if readers have forgotten poets like Seamus Heaney or Adrienne Rich in favor of poets like Caroline Bergvall and Kenny Goldsmith.&quot; <br /><br />A paling thought, indeed!

  7. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison July 22, 2009 at 5:30 am .

    Luckily, Iain, this comment stream includes both sides of our discussion, so anyone reading it can decide if my &quot;technically accurate&quot; nutshelling of your view of things is &quot;unrepresentative&quot;. I don&#39;t think it is—but then it&#39;s what I understand from what you&#39;ve said, and it <i>is</i>, after all, what you said. Unless you want to admit that the art of a good joke is

  8. Iain
    Iain July 22, 2009 at 2:25 am .

    Your ability to reduce my side of the discussion to a technically accurate and completely unrepresentative sound bite is an impressive poetic achievement in its own right.

  9. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison July 21, 2009 at 11:20 pm .

    We&#39;ll just have to agree to disagree, Iain. To call an Alice Munro short story as equal in importance to a comic strip is just sad. From my point of view, the inability to distinguish art from trivia is a symptom—and not of anything good.

  10. Iain
    Iain July 21, 2009 at 8:02 pm .

    Scott Adam&#39;s strip is funny, and often quite insightful, but he&#39;s doing something different, not &quot;less important&quot; or &quot;lower&quot; than Alice Munro. And, honestly, the distinction becomes less clear if you&#39;re going to compare Munro to, say, Peanuts (or Calvin and Hobbes even).<br /><br />I fully admit that there are important differences. I just think that they are

  11. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison July 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm .

    I don&#39;t mean to criticize The Figures for their pricing; I once had a small press myself and understand the kind of commitment it involves. I do wonder how the press feels about Kenny telling people not to buy the book—but that&#39;s between them. And I&#39;m glad Kenny puts his work up for free, just as I admire Bill Knott for making his own work available. One of these days, when I have the

  12. Iain
    Iain July 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm .

    It&#39;s just that it sounds like your saying that it&#39;s &quot;ok&quot; because the one is a &quot;joke&quot; (read &quot;low art&quot;), and it&#39;s not ok for the other because it&#39;s &quot;poetry&quot; (read &quot;high art&quot;). Maybe I&#39;m wrong, but I don&#39;t see you as someone who accepts the high/low art dichotomy. Your language, though, suggests otherwise. Why is a &quot;

  13. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison July 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm .

    Iain, I&#39;m at a loss to find a way to say what I&#39;ve already said but say it better. The difference is that the Palin exercise is a joke and makes no larger claim. Kenny&#39;s joke claims to be something larger—or his fans and publishers make that claim. The Figures claims that <i>No. lll 2.7.93-10.20.96</i> is a &quot;book of conceptually uncategorizable brilliance&quot; containing &quot;

  14. Iain
    Iain July 21, 2009 at 1:51 am .

    There&#39;s some interesting discussions possible here from your last comment, but I think I&#39;m just going to pursue my initial query a little further.<br /><br />Your answer seems to suggest that the only difference between the Palin lines being appropriated and Goldsmith using the same methods is that you like one and don&#39;t like the other.<br /><br />Are you telling me that you have no

  15. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison July 21, 2009 at 12:23 am .

    You&#39;re right, Iain. The joke is funny because Palin&#39;s statements are <i>not poetry</i> but are presented as such. The presentation mocks her statements because we expect poetry to be rhetorically effective, intelligent, even profound; so viewing her statements as poetry highlights their utter stupidity.<br /><br />This is perfectly OK. It&#39;s also perfectly OK for Kenny to type up an

  16. Iain
    Iain July 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm .

    ok,<br /><br />but the joke is only funny because framing her words as poetry is so damn effective in changing the way you look at it. It&#39;s revealing, insightful, and very funny.<br /><br />And to ask my initial question in a slightly different way: why is it &quot;ok&quot; to appropriate someone&#39;s words for a &quot;joke&quot; and not for a &quot;poem&quot;? What would you say the

  17. Joseph Hutchison
    Joseph Hutchison July 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm .

    Didn&#39;t mean to scare you, kiddo! Nor to mislead you, Iain. This &quot;appropriation,&quot; as you call it, is of course a joke—not poetry. And yes, Kenny Goldsmith&#39;s work is a joke, not readable even once, as Kenny himself has often said.

  18. Iain
    Iain July 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm .

    what would say is the fundamental difference between your enjoyment of this appropriation of Palin&#39;s words as poetry, and when Kenny Goldsmith does basically the same thing?

  19. Morena's Bohio
    Morena's Bohio July 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm .

    A friend of mine put me onto your blog…..and I was a bit mortified to see the titled to this post….<br /><br />Whew….you scared me there!!<br /><br />Indeed, her &quot;style&quot; is of it&#39;s own prose….lol.

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