[Milton-L] Re: Books, documents and texts

Alanhorn3 at cs.com Alanhorn3 at cs.com
Mon Dec 13 18:35:12 EST 2004

Very interesting post. Aesthetic categories are at bottom social categories. The exclusion of rap lyrics prima facie from the category of poetry says a lot about what that category means in our society. We could define it as what black youth aren't writing/listening to.

To argue that rap lyrics ARE poetry would be to try to elevate and legitimize the form, and therefore to accept the basic aesthetic/social stratification implied by the term in the first place.

The list member goes on to cover up the real social content of her idea by citing formal criteria to justify it ("bad form," "limp meters," "lazy rhyming"). What's telling is the confidence with which these are applied wholesale to an entire genre.

Alan H

>I thought Angelica was referring to lyrics such as hip-hop and gangsta, 
>with their bad form. If limp meters and lazy rhyming weren't enough, most 
>of these don't go much beyond an imperfectly realized rant. If I'm wrong, I 
>apologize, but I've heard enough to tune them out completely.
>"Real" poetry, "good" poetry may rant too, but it says something in feeling 

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