ACADEMY AWARD POETICS
You know how some peeps get an Oscar and some would say s/he didn't really deserve it for that particular role/movie, but it was awarded by the Academy more for the track record of previous good works?
Well, I just read a prize-winning poetry collection. And I've read (I believe) all of this poet's books. And having just read the latest which won a major poetry prize, I concluded that, actually, the collection wasn't as good (so to speak) as one of the poet's earlier books published by an indie press and without all the award accouterments.
And this isn't to say this poet's most recent isn't decent. But I wonder if this poet would have gotten this latest award were it not for hir track record. The award, however, is for a specific book rather than a resume. (Bolstering this theory is how everyone seems to know (of) each other -- judges and winners -- in this contest.)
Well, I don't know that any this means anything....except the obvious, someone overheads says mysteriously. A wing flaps and a feather drops.
And whilst on this book, the poet's trajectory also reflects a saying by Jose Garcia Villa: "I used to think the poem should sing. Now I think the poem should think" (or words to that effect). I don't think the issue needs to be a binary, but this poet's trajectory (to date) does reflect this notion -- and probably this says something about contemporary poetry, too, at least in some quarters of it.