Saturday, May 23, 2009

A.F. Moritz

A.F. Moritz, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Another of the three Canadian poets up for the Griffin Prize and another great shot by John W. MacdDonald. This is a well-deserved nomination for a poet with a consistent voice and style and a long apprenticeship. He isn't a poet that speaks to me personally, but I can appreciate the craft and I can see why so many younger Canadian poets find him an elegant role model. There are few poems of Moritz' online, but the Griffin site has one.


Dr. Ursus said...

I'm curious: just when did Moritz's "apprenticeship" end?

Chien Bâtard said...

Does one's apprenticeship end? I hope not.

Dr. Ursus said...

This is a transparent way of evading the question. It seems to me you were charging that Moritz had a "long apprenticeship" meaning that he had written for a "long" time in a somehow wanting way. I think this is a reasonable interpretation of your comment. So, the question is: when do you think he became a fully realized poet? With what book?

Chien Bâtard said...

Um. I'm not evading anything. And there's no charge at all. I don't think apprenticeship is an insult, and I don't think Moritz is wanting in any way.

As for when he "became a fully realized poet?" I'm not sure what that means. It isn't language I usually use to discuss poetry, which to me is apprenticeship, constant process and growth.

That engagement is something I respect in Moritz regardless of whether or not he speaks directly to me. There are many deeply engaged poets in this country that we don't hear much from, and who aren't discussed enough. He's probably one of them.

Dr. Ursus said...

You're trying to draw me into an argument about apprenticeship, but I don't see you painting other poets you comment about on your site as having a similar "apprenticeship." I won't be distracted. Moritz is a poet who is read by Harold Bloom and -I'd have to check this- John Hollander, who is regularly published in Poetry, and who was shortlisted for the GG for Rest on the Flight into Egypt. None of these things means he's a great poet per se, but they all don't add up to an "apprenticeship" either. I suspect you haven't read Moritz at all, and made a comment about "apprenticeship" because you have no knowledge of his work and thought the Griffin the only acknowledgement he finally received, as if he came out of some kind of wilderness. If we were at a party, I'd interrogate you more about your familiarity with Moritz's poetry, but I fear we're in the wild unverifiable land of the comment section of blogs.

I may be wrong.

Chien Bâtard said...

It would probably be more useful to invite you to do a reading of a Moritz poem here, or elsewhere.