Yet again, Kent, since I feel my previous on this thread was inadequate.
What is this general fogginess exactly?
First of all, it's a practice of making general judgements about poetry
styles or movements as if they were political parties.
Second, it's an acquiescence with the general postmodern tendency to deny
the existence of individual or personal initiative & responsibility. This
leads to a disinterest in even distinguishing between poems & poets : we're
left with mere trends.
Third, it's the amalgamation of performance, personality, poems, & chatter
: the focus turns to the overall generalized immediate impact of a writer
within a particular subculture, rather than a reception of poems in their
own right. But the reception of poems is far more complex & problematic
than such immediacy allows.
Fourth, it's the fusion of poet & political position : all the heat of
discussion emanates from the matrix of participation in a political
controversy, and the poems sit over on the sidelines, rendered irrelevant
except as sort of credentials, or tickets to the conversation. Status &
positioning, rather than aesthetics, rules the day.
These are my complaints. The position-taking around contemporary poetry
styles probably DOES have relevant implications for actual aesthetic
values; but it's all so socially & politically over-determined, that the
actual literary criticism never gets very far.