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POETRYETC  2001

POETRYETC 2001

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Subject:

Re: A contrary opinion of the worth of Ms Graham's recent poems in the LRB

From:

Mark Weiss <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 Aug 2001 12:31:41 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (55 lines)

Candice: I also don't think much of Graham's poetry--not enough to make the
effort to engage it seriously in print, altho I have read some of her poems
with some care in the past. There's only so much available energy, and no
poet "deserves" its expenditure.

I can't speak for others, but in my case gender has nothing to do with it,
and I suspect it's a red herring. We can disagree about this or that poet
simply because we disagree.

Size of audience may be heartening, but it's hardly evidence of relative
quality. But that's another discussion.

You've introduced me to the work of several poets I continue to read.
Perhaps you could post, with some comments, a poem of Graham's that you
particularly like. The same might happen in her case, but regardless, it's
likely to lead to a more interesting discussion than "I like her" "I don't."

I'm assuming that this would be within fair-use, but you understand those
rules better than I do.

OK, the words flow like lead. Time for more coffee.

Mark

At 03:01 PM 8/1/2001 -0400, Candice Ward wrote:
>on 8/1/01 12:28 PM, Martin J. Walker at [log in to unmask] wrote:
>
>> I've tried reading her work, as it's easily available on line, but can't
>> really relate to it ~ you know, that feeling that it's all doubtless very
>> clever but... yawn...
>
>    I admire and always learn from Graham's engagements with philosophy
>(Nietzsche in _Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts_, e.g.) and was pleased to give
>a copy of the poem (in _The Errancy_, I think) where she takes up _The Fold_
>to argue with Deleuze to its translator, Tom Conley, who seemed pretty
>amazed by it. But it can be so difficult for intellectual poets (of this age
>anyway)--and maybe all the more so if they're women--to get taken seriously
>and have their work engaged with in turn, given how demanding it is. The
>sort of brush-off Martin gives Graham here with a backhanded compliment on
>her "cleverness" is no more engaged than John Tranter's "drivel" is a
>genuine critical term. It's all the more heartening and en-couraging (to
>me), then, that Graham's work has succeeded in finding a relatively large
>audience and in generating true critique from (some) reviewers.
>
>Such serious and intelligent poetry demands a similarly serious
>acknowledgment from its commentators just as a matter of respect, it seems
>to me, not to mention the obvious desirability of a corresponding degree of
>critical intelligence. To paraphrase the adage: if you can't say something
>smart, better to say nothing at all.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Candice
>

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