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

Jesse Swan jesse.swan at uni.edu
Tue Dec 14 01:20:53 EST 2004

I don't understand Carrol's interpretation of Angelica's concluding
paragraph on her class form.  It seems, in the context of her response and
in the context of the form as provided, that Angelica means to suggest that
poetry is fundamentally, even essentially, as it were, of language -- not of
some positivistically (or, for that matter, mystically) conceived reality.
Much modernist thinking understands language simply to be a transparent
window on or simple vehicle of knowledge (I use common metaphors here
self-consciously and critically, as I trust all will recognize).  Angelica
seems to understand, or so the form suggests to me, that her student body
will be most accustomed to modernist conceptions, and she wishes to help
advance their literacy beyond these.  I thought her distinction would nicely
help explain that, for example, Calvin Trillin's "Deadline Poet" bits in
_The Nation_ are not, usually, poetry, as much as many of us might
appreciate them.  These bits are not "bad poetry"; they are not poetry, even
if they use some of the forms of poetry.  Rap, as many have been discussing,
in this regard, is, very often, poetry, by contrast, isn't it?



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>

> > "Duran, Angelica" wrote:
> >
> > on the other hand, "meaning" that is external to or prior
> > to language, as in much of contemporary writing that passes for
> > "poetry" is not poetry either.
> >
> I don't understand this at all. And there is at least one serious
> logical flaw in it: to contrast "poetry" and "writing that passes for
> 'poetry'" is to dissolve the difference between "good poetry" and "bad
> poetry" into a mystic conception of "true poetry."
> Carrol
> Keep the X in Xmas

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