Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Apologies to those who feel I missed the subtlety of their poems. "About" is always a bad preposition for poetry, implying as it does a distinction between content and form, subject matter and presentation that often doesn't hold. In English, propositions are like the streets of D.C. or Boston or an awkward simile. . . There should be (but ain't) a quicker, more direct way to get where you want to go. I would, however, have to be a deep literalist of the body to miss the sex--metaphorical or not--in those poems. It doesn't really require any exegetical jujitsu to extract. It's not like I'm saying that walking up a staircase (as Freud does) resembles sex in that it involves repetitive motion with an eventual endpoint. Nor am I playing a dull round of find-the-privates.

Of course, I agree that the way the anthology was described by Reb, as well as the way the preface and the cover frame the poems in it, colors my reading. I was responding to the anthology as an object, as poems in a specific context. I would assume that most people, like me, don't believe that the poem is some kind of stable unchanging object capable of resisting whatever context might impinge upon them. . . Maybe certain poems can do that to a certain degree, but not these ones. And this is not like a remark about quality; I like all the poems to which I referred. . .

4 comments:

shanna said...

oh, i didn't take offense or anything! i was just trying to cheer you up, really. :)

Anne Boyer said...

Shanna,

because I prefer, uh, erotic "subtlety", and also Futura, I found yrs to be one of the most pleasurable in the book.

Anne

ps Jasper, mine was CLEARLY only about technology. Sex? oh dear . . .

Charles said...

I totally understand what you mean. I think your post made me think more about my own work and the work I'd already read. I wasn't saying you were wrong or trying to jump down your throat or anything! :) I enjoyed your thoughts, and here too.

Emily Lloyd said...

Same here. :)