2.08.2005

Links

Gwenda Bond points out Stephen King's 12 tips for being a writer.

Rue D notes the wild stories homeless children of Miami tell.

Alan DeNiro had two interesting blogs: one on scrapping what doesn't seem to be working, another criticizing criticism. In the latter, I'm less interested in the speculating of motives but the approach: "The problem is that he really doesn't have any clue what Language poetry is, and never defines it; it's something rather specific." This kind of reacting positively or negatively without defining what you love or find wrong is symptomatic throughout the literary spectrum of discourse. DeNiro's implied advice is a page from a book I hope to follow in the future of this blog.

I'll read it more thoroughly later, but the Richard Tayson article does define language poetry as "a lack of narrative, a rejection of closure, an emphasis on textuality, and extreme attention to the material physicality of the shape and sound of words (or even letters) at the expense of...," etc.

My take on Language Poetry will be months down the road, but while I admire the new approach to language, I'm not convinced of its purported political purposes (hence, months down the road). DeNiro makes fun of Tayson's view of Whitman through hacker-speak: "Whitman is so 1337." I had to look up "1337" which is supposed to be short for "elite" although DeNiro may have had another definition in mind. (Explore the Urban Dictionary--very cool). Whitman, however, was the opposite of elite. He tried to embrace all of the culture at once--the broad sweep of his lines and the wide scope of his lens: from the technology of locomotives to nature's blade of grass to bear-hugging all of the nation's inhabitants in simple language. He sought to bring poetic language further towards the common man. In this sense, Language poetry does not follow the Whitman tradition as it estranges the language from the common man (which does not necessarily connote it is not poetry). The only way to test the Whitman supposition for certain is to take Whitman and language poetry on the streets and do a blind, randomized taste-test.