[New-Poetry] Is American Poetry at a Dead End?
chris at chrislott.org
Sun Dec 12 11:07:47 EST 2010
So, Bob and Alexander, as readers we aren't allowed to have opinions?
You don't have in your mind a selection of what you read this year
that you think is better than the rest?
I still don't see the problem. If you shared the list of books or
poems you read this year that were better-- for you-- than the rest,
that would be valuable for me to discover new work. Same with every
other list. As I said, if the person making the list isn't staking
some claim for best for everyone-- but saying "here's what was best
for me"-- I not only am not seeing the harm, but I think it's a good
I also fail to see the meaningful distinction between me posting "The
Best 10 books I read this year" and posting "My favorite 10 books of
I don't want redundancy and authority when someone shares a list of
what has inspired or moved or excited them-- I want their personal
take. That's the whole point. I think you are both looking through the
wrong end of the telescope here.
On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 2:45 AM, Bob Grumman <bobgrumman at nut-n-but.net> wrote:
> On 12/12/2010 12:11 AM, Chris Lott wrote:
>> I think it depends on the spirit in which such lists are intended. I
>> love to hear people's "top X" of 2010 lists-- it's a valuable pointer
>> to things that might be worth reading, hearing, or seeing. As long as
>> they don't think they are making a list for the ages, why take all the
>> fun out of it?
> Because it's no fun for poets getting no support of any kind except pats on
> the back from other marginal poets to read such lists. And, of course,
> because none of them mention any books by poets not already boosted all over
> the place, or no more worth reading than any book randomly encounter without
> the guidance of such lists by the kind of poet whose book would get on such
> a list.
> What would be a hundred times more helpful would be a competent critique of
> a book by a poet never critiqued in any BigCirc publication, whether the
> poet lived in Wilshberia or somewhere else. You notice these lists never
> give more than a blurb as to why any of the selected books is on the list.
> I would agree that a list by somebody one knows (as a writer) of collections
> he likes and nothing more might be useful, if you like, or hate, his kind of
> books, but why annoy people by arrogantly describing the books on the list
> as the best of some year? All that does is get people like me making posts
> like this one.
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