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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Re: Book Trade

From:

"Arvon" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Arvon

Date:

Thu, 16 Apr 1998 14:48:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

Dear Simon,

>Does this mean...<

No it doesn't. Yes, you're absolutely right...'why worry'...

and in response to the extended question

>Does this mean I have to read ALL of ...<

you don't HAVE to do anything. I've read all the poets you list, met a lot
of them, like most of them, and most of their work...it's not an agenda you
know.

Descrimination is fine. People, and especially poets, seem to do it
admirably.

No, WE don't all read what we think is 'best'. WE read aall sorts. What has
'best' got to do with anything? What WE do seem to do 'best', is to go on
about what we think is 'best'. Of course, WE decide what we think we like,
but so what? Why worry indeed.

-- Andy

----------
> From: Simon Smith <[log in to unmask]>
> To: Arvon <[log in to unmask]>; British Poets List
<[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Book Trade
> Date: 16 April 1998 21:11
>
> So, then Andy,
>
> Does this mean I have to read ALL of Sean O'Brien, Jorie Graham, Don
Paterson, Fleur Adcock, Charles Bernstein, Robert Creeley, Peter Riley,
Miles Champion, Jackie Kay, Simon Armitage, Kelvin Corcoran, David Rees,
Harry Gilonis, Bob Cobbing, Peter Porter, Jo Shapcott, JH Prynne.
>
> I suspect Keston, probably has (to use that weighted term) sampled all
the above ("Poems can be read between meetings" to paraphrase S. Armitage
in an interview, I think from the teen mag "Jackie") and to use another
unfashionable phrase, discriminated. Isn't that allowed?
>
> I mean come on, don't we all read what we think is best, and/or the
poetry that we can USE, work with?
>
> Then there's the relativism question. Are we talking about different
modes of production or the outmoded against the currrent. Do we have to go
back and break the pentameter each time we want to innovate, or reinvent
"I-do-this-I-do-that" poems or LANGUAGE poetry, or Concrete, or . . . ?
But surely some modes of production are better than others (I would venture
because of their currency [this ties into cris's point about ephemera: how
do you sort out the current from the ephemeral?]).
>
> And here is the question that daily drops onto my desk as I catalogue at
The Poetry Library: 90% of what passes my desk onto the PL shelves is
poorly written, outmoded, deeply felt (no doubt), but which 10% is good,
not to say outstanding? Who's to say? Sorry, but I think the old chestnut
Posterity with a capital "P" is the only way, what USE the future
generations have for the stuff, the good, the bad and the ugly. And some
of the good poets will be passed over, they always have been, yet there IS
good (great even) poetry for people to find -- some of it might get a just
hearing, one of the these days . . . . Or it may not. Why worry
>
>
> Simon
>
>
>
> ----------
> > Keston,
> >
> > You wrote
> >
> > > Give care where it's NEEDED.
> >
> > You KNOW what you need? Unique!
> >
> > How do you know something is unappetising if you don't read it/eat it?
> > If you decide it's unappetising beforehand, you're shutting a lot out
--
> > TASTE (in relation to reading) as with FOOD, is learned/acquired.
> >
> > Ditto, if you choose what you read because it's published by
> > a 'certain kind of press' or because they are a particular
> > 'type of writer', you're closing it down. This issue has nothing
> > to do with profligacy -- they are just different modes of writing/
> > production, in the end neither better or worse (heaven forbid!)
> > than each other. After the curry you need the raita.
> >
> > -- Andy Brown
> >
> >
> > ----------
> > > From: Keston Sutherland <[log in to unmask]>
> > > To: Peter Riley <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Cc: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: Re: Book Trade
> > > Date: 15 April 1998 18:50
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >The one vital lesson to young poets is to read absolutely
everything,
> > > >however unappetising. (Douglas Clark)
> > >
> > >
> > > The one VITAL lesson to poets is (allowing myself a bit of mouth here
> > > again) to read almost nothing unappetising: nausea nausea nausea!
Give
> > > care where it's NEEDED. Profligacy was an 80s sentimentality, wasn't
it?
> >
> > >
>


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