Friday, March 6, 2009

Irresistible argument

Can't resist the argument going on at the Poetry Foundation earlier this week. It's some of the most substantive back-and-forth about the importance and impact of -- and problems with -- negative reviewing. No age has been without its negative reviews, though ours feels more worked up about it than most that may be simply because we're so near-sighted. For famous example, the specious assertion that Keats was "killed" by lousy reviews. What's missing in the mix is the feeling that those negative reviews that do slam out the door every once in a while (from Logan or whoever) are doing so because the work means so much, has so much potentially at stake. If anyone has done that kind of review lately, it may be Michael Theune. So here's to more of that. Are you ready to take a poem to task from the long view, with an eye to building it up rather than lamenting its petty failures?

No comments: