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

Brad Irish birish at bu.edu
Mon Dec 13 19:07:57 EST 2004


I'm curious: to those who are inclined to dismiss the poetic value of rap,
how much time have you devoted to its study and analysis?

Would you allow a student to similarily dismiss an entire genre--say, for 
example, the 17th century lyric--after a comparable investigation?

> 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.
>



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