Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


From Jordan Davis’s blog I find a link to bloggy speculations on the future of poetry by poet and poetician Ron Silliman, who lays down some sparkly data on the explosion in the number of American poets since the 1950s -- stuff I’d read about in the essays of my main man Eliot Weinberger (who recently heard some things about Iraq) -- as well as some puzzle-nod-making stuff about the spirit of trobar clus; and I appreciate his hedge against difficulty-for-difficulty’s-sake, as well as his trenchant political stance -- “Richard Nixon, we must remember, was well to the left even of Howard Dean.” Dude!

Silliman divides the poetry world between the School of Quietude and the post-New American Poetry poets; N.A.P. poets being those collected and championed in the book of that name -- Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, many others. I’m guessing that the slam poets -- who are certainly not Quietudians -- fit into the post-N.A.P. group, but I’m not at all confident that Silliman is including them in the scenario at all, given that a number of his friends in the post-N.A.P. contingent(s) of the American poetry world studiously ignore them, or treat them as a louder version of the not-highly-regarded Confessionals (Plath, R. Lowell, who are champions of the Quietudians), an association that makes some sense, but more nonsense; or, rather, it privileges paraphrasability over prosody, which would be a prosy way of lookin’ at it. Even my main man Eliot Weinberger gets too hung up on bookishness, erudition, and esotericism in his view of the poetic landscape. Maybe I should email Mr. Silliman and ask. From my seat, the Slammers look to be part of the tradition -- they’re a significant element of What’s Happening.

Either way, I gotta add Silliman’s blog to my route of regular reads.

In other Equanimitous news, Jordan lays down some rhetorical science in a hoppin’ post on the ground of desire.
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