Wednesday, April 29, 2009


tonight when I attended a local poetry reading just because poetry readings rarely occur in my part of the woods. The featured poet clearly believed himself to have some prominence though he suffers from that American poetic disease of being unknown no matter what his achievements may be.

Anyway, he described himself as an academic ... which meant two things in his case. First, his presentation was ponderous, pedantic, replete with unnecessary explanations (I repeat moiself for emphasis). And this reminds me to note what I have noticed from some poet-academics doing readings in non-academic contexts: they treat their audience (even if it's not comprised of their students) like they are folks to be taught rather than folks with whom to share poetry.

Second, this poet said something like this: "I'm an academic and one of the wonderful things about being a poet laureate is realizing the diversity of poetry. A poem can be witty, funny, ..." etcetera et-banal-cetera.

Bathos: it's not when a poet writes his own P.R. but when that poet be believing his own P.R.

As for his poems? I can't remember...and that seems logical, though sad.


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