Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Imagined quote of the week

What the interviewee said when pressed about his use of the phrase "good poetry" in relation to poetry that resembles his own....and "difficult" or "innovative" (quotes included with much derision), in relation to things he doesn't like.

"Hm, I had no idea my tastes were that transparent."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too listened to the Carmine Starnino interview. He is indeed very predictable, self-interested, etc., his poems are boring and his thoughts on them are boring or pompous or both. But why not just call him out on this directly, or ignore it?

Lemon Hound said...

That's funny. I don't actually know what interview you mean...this happens in so many reviews/interviews I can't count. It certainly isn't limited to one person.

Anonymous said...

Ah - my bad. For posterity's sake, a good (excruciating) example of it is the one I was thinking of: http://nigelbeale.com/2010/04/14/audio-interview-with-poetcritic-carmine-starnino-on-canadian-poems-and-poets-good-and-bad/

To sum it up, he's asked the best Canadian poets and says Eric Ormsby and David Solway, and for the worst Canadian poets he says Don McKay and Jan Zwicky. Transparent (transplanted?) indeed.

Lemon Hound said...

That is transparent. Predicable. But then one might assume that Christian Bok would pick Darren Wershler as an example of "good" poetry... My sense is that many people, when pressed, choose friends, people who mirror them comfortably.

This certainly isn't limited to one kind of poetic sensibility, or even to poetry...

I know that we all do it, my dream in this quote really is just that we can acknowledge it and trouble the relation between comfortable and "good."

I was reading something the other day and the reviewer made so many thoughtful points, but ultimately the bias of the perspective was revealed in phrases such as those I mentioned above, and this made it difficult to take even the well made points seriously...

On the other hand, it's quite shocking that it still surprises me after all these years...do we just not listen to the obviously biased, or do we, as I keep believing, push for a new way of thinking and writing about poetry, art, etc.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

All taste is subjective, which is true in all arts. And even if someone attempts to be unpredictable, that in and of itself can become predictable after a while. The best thing to do is always search out writing that is new (to you) while remaining true to yourself. As you mention, predictability is relative.