« Ah, Ape Culture | Main | In-Between-ness »



The Slate poem is one of those poems that would make sense in a book and perhaps have more resonance as part of a series. Standing alone, it seems a bit sparse.

But, Western Wind, on the other hand, is beautiful, spare, and worth the re-reading.



Well, I agree that the little Farrell snippet isn’t exactly Pound or Basho…but I think that there is something interesting about it.

As Ms. Yew says, I agree that this poem is probably most effective when it is seen as a departure from, an intersection between other poems…i.e., where it’s brevity and pacing and trope may serve as a sort of palate-cleansing moment, when one is not expecting something so linear, so short…and thus, it interrupts or suggests pause (literally, in fact, with “breath-taking”).

In fact, I find I like it better than the Gregg poem, for instance, perhaps partly because I think the Farrell piece is deceptive. Its sonic considerations, its stylistic and riddle-like throwbacks to (although I really have no evidence that this is what Farrell intended) haiku, the way both “breath-taking” and “near-death” can be bent/read in slightly different ways.

I am not saying this is a Great Poem. Only that it strikes me as, hrm, considered. It has been taking a lot of flak, actually, in board-land.

Anyway. Thanks for your great examples and thoughts. You give much to consider, as usual.



o no! I did an it's/its thing. Help!


Sorry my friend, I do those all the time. You'll just have to endure, I'm afraid.

The poem's taking a lot of flak? That seems a bit unreasonable to me. The poem does not move me personally, but I can see its (ha) merits, and could easily understand how it would appeal to someone with a (even slightly) different aesthetic than my own. Moreover, I don't think the poem is pretentious - that it's unfairly reaching beyond itself in a way that might try to bamboozle the reader or make unreasonable demands of the reader's time for a kind of pointless "pay-off". It is what it is - and I don't think it's something to be overly censured. (I.e., the poem does not suck.)

Long live the red wheel-barrow!


Heh - yeah. Flak.


This is a pretty fair example of why I don't post to the boards anymore. Too many people taking poems which couldn't have been written by themselves as a kind of personal affront. I think there's about 10 lines of solid analysis in that entire thread - and while those points aren't invalid, the tone of the whole simply reinforces a kind of elitisim of which I don't approve.

That might seem odd, considering I am very picky and highly critical when it comes to poetry, but I prefer, at the end of the day, to leave the door open for other *considered* views. I'll also dismiss 95% plus of poems written in certain genres, or I'll decide a genre is largely tapped out or closed or derivative, but eh, while it does not move me personally, I just can't see what's so bad about this poem, either considered as itself or as a representative of a class.

Good to see that Tom is still fighting the good fight. Pearls before swine though. . .


Ah! Perhaps we should look on this poem as a species of riddle-poem?


Mostly, I guess, I don't understand why people get away with arguments of such little logical or literary value. I.e., "it sux0r," is not exactly what I'd call an interesting technique in dismantling or critically considering a text. Maybe I'm being pretentious to say that—and I'm sure I'm guilty of the same thing, or even worse behavior, at times. But so many seem to agree.

Is it that people fear bucking the bandwagon?

Or that everyone really thought this poem was THAT terrible—beyond redemption, not worthy, even, of consideration?

I used to study in the art museum in Chicago sometimes when I was in school (mostly on Tuesday afternoons, when it was free to get in)—if I happened to be sitting in the contemporary art area I was almost guaranteed to hear a disgruntled "well I could do better than that" from someone looking at an Ellsworth Kelly or a Mondrian. It irritated me then, and it irritates me now.

I am not suggesting that people ought not use and/or vocalize their implicit aesthetic judgment about works for art—but I wish they would spend a few seconds questioning those reactions before publicly announcing their own ideological superiority.

It's weird how people were hypercritical of the poem's supposed "experimental" nature. Because I thought the Slate poem was very simple. Very accessible. So not experimental/shocking.

I think "riddle poem" would be an effective categorization, actually. I was trying to argue that it was, in theory, a much better representation of the "ethic" of "haiku" than 90% of the lotus flower and minnow pond stuff that gets posted under that rubric, but I think "riddle poem" might be a better angle.

And it's Ferry. Not Farrell. Sigh. I really am having a hard time keeping things straight today.

Thanks, again, for your perceptive comments. I enjoyed reading them.



That poem does suck!




what a inspiratin poem ^_^

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Book

  • Ice Sculpture of Mermaid with Cigar

    Icecoversmall Is now available at Amazon

    You can also read about it