Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rating Great Poets and Considering Contemporary Concerns

Much has been made this weekend on writers’ individual blogs or email literary lists about the content and tenor of David Orr’s valuable and thought-provoking article in the New York Times, “The Great(ness) Game.” Some of the online commentary has focused upon questioning ambiguous definitions of “greatness” or the accuracy in Orr’s portrait of contemporary poetry, particularly his perceptions of college writing programs and a tendency toward careerism evident among those in the current community of authors. As with Orr’s essay, all of the opinions I have seen online so far have been interesting and insightful, have engendered discussion or debate, and have initiated some serious reflection.

At the same time, I have been thinking about my course on twentieth-century poetry that I again will be teaching in the fall. For the past few years I haven’t taught the class, since the university recently had instituted a new creative writing major and I was asked to concentrate on creative writing workshops during the first years of the major. Considering a return to teaching Twentieth-Century Poetry, I reexamined the course syllabus this week, wondering what additions or subtractions I might make, and pleasantly discovered once more an impressive depth of talent demonstrated by the chronicle of twentieth-century American poetry.

Moreover, after reading Orr’s article, especially his apparent suggestion that today’s poets are limited by producing works in the shadow of a generation of greatness—exemplified in Orr’s piece by John Ashbery, my own former teacher—and effectively diminishing their own output, I decided to isolate that chronological section of twentieth-century American poets to which Ashbery belongs. If one designs an admittedly artificial guideline for a generation as those born within a period of twenty years, and if everyone agrees for sake of the argument that modernism reached a pinnacle about 1923—upon publication of Waste Land by T.S. Eliot and the composition of early Cantos by Ezra Pound in 1922, as well as release of Spring and All by William Carlos Williams, Harmonium by Wallace Stevens, and a first edition of Selected Poems by Robert Frost in 1923—while sowing the seeds for the beginning of post-modernism may have coincided with the World War II years, then an arbitrary but convenient two-decade stretch of time to study might be 1923-1943.

When I review my course syllabus for this segment of the past century, I find an amazing array of figures on the roster of poets, including the following born between 1923 and 1943: A.R. Ammons, John Ashbery, John Balaban, Marvin Bell, Robert Bly, Luicille Clifton, Robert Creeley, James Dickey, Alan Dugan, Stuart Dybek, B.H. Fairchild, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Glück, Donald Hall, Michael S. Harper, Robert Hass, Richard Hugo, Donald Justice, Galway Kinnell, Carolyn Kizer, Kenneth Koch, Maxine Kumin, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, John Logan, William Matthews, Walt McDonald, James Merrill, W.S. Merwin, Frank O’Hara, Marge Piercy, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Charles Simic, Louis Simpson, Dave Smith, W.D. Snodgrass, Gary Snyder, Gerald Stern, Mark Strand, Lucien Stryk, C.K. Williams, Charles Wright, and James Wright. Additional significant poets—Gwendolyn Brooks, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Larry Levis, Robert Lowell, and Richard Wilbur, among others—appear just outside the selected dates.

If my math skill has not eluded me, this compilation of poets comes to fifty individuals. Readers could disagree about the greatness of any single poet listed above. Even talk about Orr’s example of Ashbery would create contentious conversation among some. However, looking back upon their record of accomplishments from the present position, the collective greatness of this generation’s poetry most likely would be indisputable in the minds of today’s readers.

Obviously, many would legitimately offer that the greatest generation of American poetry to arrive since Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson earlier fostered the art in the nineteenth century occurred during a wave of poets born in the 1870s and 1880s who swept into prominence in a period at the start of the twentieth century—the Ezra Pound (born in 1885) era that also included T.S. Eliot (1888), Robert Frost (1874), Wallace Stevens (1879), and William Carlos Williams (1883). Nevertheless, it would be difficult to argue against the 1923-1943 combined group above as a pool of poets that represents a great generation of poetry.

Just as the modernists transformed poetry in the first half of the twentieth century, those poets born predominantly between the world wars shaped a transition toward today’s postmodern situation. Indeed, as individual volumes such as Eliot’s Waste Land and Stevens’s Harmonium impacted poetic direction in the country following the time of their publication, so too did particular collections by John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, W.D. Snodgrass, Mark Strand, James Wright, and others. Indeed, as David Orr indicates, the strong influence of these poets still lingers into this premier decade of the twenty-first century.

David Orr also contends contemporary poets continually swayed by the writing styles of these previous figures have not yet developed their own sense of greatness. Therefore, Orr wonders whether, “for the first time since the early 19th century, American poetry may be about to run out of greatness.” A portion of Orr’s intriguing explanation makes a certain amount of sense, especially coming just one week after the annual AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference, perhaps resembling a typical business convention more and more each year, again drew thousands of poets to its venue in the Chicago Hilton:

Greatness isn’t simply a matter of potentially confusing concepts; it’s also a practical question about who gets to decide what about whom. Our assumptions about poetic greatness are therefore linked to the reputation-making structures of the poetry world—and changes in those structures can have peculiar effects on our thinking. For most of the 20th century, the poetry world resembled a country club. One had to know the right people; one had to study with the right mentors. The system began to change after the G.I. Bill was introduced (making a university-level poetic education possible for more people), and that change accelerated in the 1970s, as creative writing programs began to flourish. In 1975, there were 80 such programs; by 1992, there were more than 500, and the accumulated weight of all these credentialed poets began to put increasing pressure on poetry’s old system of personal relationships and behind-the-scenes logrolling. It would be a mistake to call today’s poetry world a transparent democracy (that whirring you hear is the sound of logs still busily being rolled), but it’s more democratic than it used to be—and far more middle class. It’s more of a guild now than a country club. This change has brought with it certain virtues, like greater professionalism and courtesy. One could argue that it also made the poetry world more receptive to writers like Bishop, whose style is less hoity-toity than, say, Eliot’s. But the poetry world has also acquired new vices, most notably a tedious careerism that encourages poets to publish early and often (the Donald Hall essay I mentioned earlier is largely a criticism of this very tendency). Consequently, it’s not hard to feel nostalgic for the way things used to be; or at least, the way we imagine they used to be. And this nostalgia often manifests as a preference for a particular kind of “greatness.”

Based upon Orr’s description and his observation about a perceived lack of greatness or unique ambition in particular younger poets, some might suggest a pessimistic outlook for American poetry. However, just as I believe the profile of American poetry may have shifted in the last century from a focus on the greatness of individual figures to an additional and equally important glimpse at the greatness of a collective generation of contributors, I view the new model of American poetry in the future as one that will prove even more inclusive and democratic, concentrated not only in the powerful works of a few individuals, but also in the strength of the whole production of poetry by the nation’s poets. As a larger number of folks write accomplished or well-crafted poetry, whether due to studies in university programs or the increased access to online writing communities and publications, maybe a new paradigm of greatness will present itself, though the word “greatness” suddenly may seem somewhat inappropriate.

As Daisy Fried states in a forum discussion, “Ambition and Greatness,” that appeared in the March 2005 issue of Poetry and is cited by David Orr in his article: “One of the delights of contemporary poetry is that there are as many ways of being great as there are of being ambitious. I’m not arguing against making distinctions. I like saying what I like and loathe. I’ll say why I think any poet is good or bad. I’m not particularly interested in persuading anyone to agree with me; it’s hard enough getting people to like my own poems. When I read I don’t ask myself, ‘Is this great?’ I look to see if something interesting is going on, hopefully something I don’t quite understand, something I need to figure out. Is that looking for ambition?”

In the same discussion, Jeredith Merrin adds: “This isn’t merely a matter of vocabulary: dramatic changes in our understanding of physical reality mean shifts in our ethical and emotional relationships to the world. Ambitious new work need not be ‘about’ physics, of course; and the juice of poetry remains in the homely details—Williams’s woman munching her plums. But writers stuck in Romantic or even twentieth-century assumptions can’t do the present job. Poetry (to allude to Frost) stays vital, necessary, ‘great,’ by giving accurate accounts of the altering weather—both ‘inner’ and ‘outer.’”

Perhaps Adam Kirsch rightly hinted at one problem with considering greatness in contemporary poetry: “If we look at poets of our day who seem likely to earn and sustain the name of great—I would think right away of Derek Walcott and the late Czeslaw Milosz—it is obvious that even the great poets are no longer interested in greatness, at least not in the sense that Milton or Keats were. After the world wars, communism, and fascism, there is a drastic mistrust in all intellectual fields of naive, triumphal humanism, of universal claims that disguise personal interests and assumptions. For a poet like Milosz, greatness consists not in self-assertion but in self-abnegation, not in mastery but in witnessing. This is a more modest and self-suspicious ideal, which may recoil from the very name of greatness, even as it retains the old ambition that defines the word—in Milton's formula, to create something that time will not willingly let die.”

One can blend the three comments by Fried, Merrin, and Kirsch to create a more complete understanding about the concerns contemporary poets and critics sometimes have with the use of certain terms, the uneasy relationship a number of them recognize between concepts of greatness or ambition and the current distrust by some for such labels, at least as they have been seen employed in the past. As the image above of an ancient muse reading words on a scroll might remind us, today’s readers also ought to consider it a bit risky to regard greatness in any specific contemporary poet since, as we all know, such a judgment is tenuous at best until tested by the passage of time and critically attested by forthcoming generations of readers as worthy of acclaim. Already, I look forward to “making distinctions,” as Daisy Fried phrased it, and exploring further all these issues about greatness with the students in my Twentieth-Century Poetry course next semester, fall 2009, when we will be able at least to claim we have distanced ourselves a decade from the end of the previous century.


Anonymous said...

It is clear to me that Orr is close to being right "American poetry may be about to run out of greatness." I read very little of it these days - in fact there seems to be almost none.

I wish more poets were striving towards greatness...but they aren't trying to be great. They have set their sights instead on a much lower face on the totem, and that is the face of popularity...and that's hugely different than greatness.

The drivel of the blogosphere, the poetry magazines being read by almost no one, and the academies or workshops which all together produce the poetic body of work for the masses to read, are poor examples of even adequate poetry...

By the way, the word "Great" has also suffered. Once upon a time it needed steamer trunks to travel, and now it only needs a simple valise.


John Guzlowski said...

For a long time I've enjoyed teaching courses on "literary masterpieces," and one of the questions I always ask, of course, is "What makes a work great?"

I ask my students to work up their standards, their reasons, for saying one work is a literary masterpiece and another isn't.

And every semester what I discover is that, despite all of the necessary criteria and all the strong aguments my students generate, literary greatness comes down in large part to what "touches" a reader, and this is personal and important.

What I've come to learn from my students in these classes is that part of what we are trying to learn from literature is what does touch us and why somethings touch us and somethings don't.

The greatest poets and writers and books are the ones we respond to fully--and this is personal.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I very much like this: "what ... touch[es] us and why [do] some things touch us and some things [not?] The greatest poets and writers and books are the ones we respond to fully--and this is personal."

Anonymous said...

"However, looking back upon their record of accomplishments from the present position, the collective greatness of this generation’s poetry most likely would be indisputable in the minds of today’s readers."

i'm sorry to hear that. i for one would dispute the hell out of this statement. no one on that list is anywhere near the milton - byron - eliot capital-g greatness.

some of the poets you list will probably have individual works enter the canon (gwendolyn brooks, sylvia plath), some of them will remain the enthusiasms of a committed minority (merrill, wilbur, anne sexton, maybe kizer), but the rest are just padding out your list to make your point. it would be as easy to fill out out the list of the previous generation, including the respectable names of langston hughes, countee cullen, louise bogan, dorothy parker.

Edward Byrne said...

You apparently have chosen to "dispute" something I never even suggested. I did not claim anyone on the 1923-1943 list was as great as Milton or Byron or Eliot. Nor do I believe any one of them is as great as Whitman, Dickinson, etc.

I stated this clearly. Indeed, I wrote that "readers could disagree about the greatness of any single poet listed." I merely suggested that "the collective greatness of this generation" should be considered instead.

Also, I'm amused that you regard poets such as Ammons, Ashbery, Dickey, Ginsberg, Hugo, Justice, Kinnell, Levine, Lowell, O'Hara, Rich, Simic, Snyder, Strand, Wright, etc. as "just padding."

Unknown said...

I hear "greatness" conflated in these discussions (or at least an implied conflation) with "ambition" -- which is slightly different, and I think, much more easily recognized and conferred in a poem and by "ambition" I mean ambition of the poem and what it seeks to accomplish (not bald careerism on the poet's part).

I feel fairly confident saying, that we can identify with some consensus poems that aspire toward emotional and intellectual goals and some that do not.

I sat down yesterday to read two new poets that strike me as part of a similar cohort, but that represent two impulses toward the ambition of a poem. One, Brian Barker, whose first book, Animal Gospels, won the editor's prize at Tupelo strikes me as hugely ambtious in its emotional and intellectual goals. Barker is after the BIG questions and draws on BIG archtypes (flood imagery, for instance, in the opening long poem and even the trope of "gospel" which suggests a vatic function for the poet)
Though he is not always successful and I occasionally wince at the image or platitude that overreaches or just plain misses (the way Whitman can miss sometimes) the whole premise of the book strikes me as ambitious. Will Barker be a "great" poet? Beats me, but I think he's travelling down that path, working within the idioms that seem restrospectively apparent as characteristic of "great" poets.

By contrast, the other poet (and I'm hesistant to name names and then proceed with the critique I"m about to) I think would more squarely fall into that group of younger poets that Orr and others suggest aren't on that path. The ambitions of the poems seem minor; more of the "what's in the fridge and why does it make me lonely?" variety than of ambition like Barker's. He is publishing widely, in Poetry among other journals, I do like his work, generally. But his second book (from which I draw my critique) is populated by "He" and "She" and "a woman" "a man" so persistently that it seems clearly attached to surface.

So, at the very least, I am saying that is just wrong to characterize "much of the poetry today" as not "great" because I think there are numerous poets, Barker among them, whose poems have considerable ambition.

Lynnell Edwards

John Guzlowski said...

I think that the problem of "greatness" is much more problematic than Orr lets on. In fact, his remarks seem to be so "unthoughtful" that I wonder how the piece ever got past an editor.

One of the good things about his essay is that it has generated a lot of good talk about "greatness" and poetry.

There have some been some interesting attempts to clarify what "greatness" mean by the poets who responded to the posting of at the article at my Everything's Jake blog: http://everythings-jake.blogspot.com/2009/02/can-american-poetry-be-great-again.html

Take a look especially at Urkat's comments.

Anonymous said...

//However, looking back upon their record of accomplishments from the present position, the collective greatness of this generation’s poetry most likely would be indisputable in the minds of today’s readers.//

Today's readers?

Just what readers are you referring to?

Ever since Orr's article was written I have been asking everyone I know , co-workers (I'm a builder/poet), family friends, friends of family friends, etc... if they can name just one poet from the mid to late 20th Century. Many can't name one. Most couldn't name *more* than one. *None* could remember the name of a poem or recite a line from any of the poetry from this period.

What about the earlier generation?

To a person, everyone named Robert Frost, most of them named him first. Additionally, everyone could name a Frost poem and many could remember individual lines.

The collective greatness of "this generation's poetry" is hardly "indisputable". It is disputed by the marketplace. Once you escape the big chain bookstores and seek out the small businesses that have to stock what *they can sell*, where are the books of this indisputably great generation? Out of all those poets you listed, you might be lucky to find - *one*.

I know this from experience.

Meanwhile, many of these bookstores will sell various Frost collections, Millay, Whitman, EB Browning, maybe Tennyson, Shakespeare...

I prefer to base my assertions on the evidence - slim though it may be. Wouldn't it be interesting to find out from publishers and bookstores just who sells and who doesn't. Then we'll know what "today's readers" *really* think.

Until then, all this posturing over 20th Century poetry is just so much sound and fury - signifying nothing.

John Guzlowski said...

if you equate sales with greatness, I know poetry is in trouble.

I heard a report by the new york times book editor. For a novel to be on the NYT best seller, it has to be selling about 5,000 copies a week. For a book of poems to be on the separate poetry best seller list, it has to be selling 100 copies a week.

People don't buy poetry.

Anonymous said...

No, they *do* buy poetry, just not poetry of the latter 20th Century.

It's like Alfred Corn's comment that "today's readership" rejects or resists greatness. The marketplace contradicts him.

There's a series of books called "Poetry for Young People". (I have children.) I've noticed that they sell fairly well at our local toy store. I've asked them. You can see the collection here:


None of the poets among those Edward Byrne will be discussing in the halls of academia, are in this series.

If we limit ourselves to two conclusions, then it's this: Either the public doesn't know what greatness is (since they're not buying poetry from their own generation) or those in the poetry industry (the critics, the poets and academics who praise the *unsold* poetry of their generation) don't know what greatness is.

I opt for the latter option.

Edward Byrne said...


I appreciate your comments. However, as John states, you cannot connect sales numbers with literary value, especially when judging contemporary works of literature. This goes for fiction as well: check the bestseller list of novels.

As I have mentioned, greatness of any single author can only be determined when his or her works are tested by time. That is why I did not claim greatness for any one of the contemporary poets I mentioned.

Instead, I suggested their collective generation of poets has had a great impact and altered the shape of poetry with an impressive body of work. Although you may not approve of the influence they have had, this is indisputable.

In fact, speaking of sales by contemporary poets: how many books did Dickinson sell during her life? None. At the same time, Longfellow was so popular that he reportedly sold 10,000 copies of one volume in a single day. Which is the greater poet?

John Guzlowski said...

I'm with Edward regarding the best seller lists in general.

If someone tells me a book is on the best seller list, I lose interest in it.

James Patterson? Rowling? I'm not interested.

You can trust me--Dostoevsky, Joyce, Willa Cather have never been on the best seller list.

Anonymous said...

//I appreciate your comments. //

I appreciate your putting up with me.

//However, as John states, you cannot connect sales numbers with literary value//

On the contrary. Yes I can.

Your response has been the popular refrain for decades, that popularity (sales numbers) don't connect with literary value, but it's a canard and simply not true. It's not everything, but it's very significant.

The example of Longfellow is irrelevant. The question is not: How many mediocre literary artists have *also* been popular (which is the usual riposte). The question is: How many great artists *weren't* popular?

Emily Dickinson is a poor example. She did not *try* to sell books during her lifetime, let alone publish poems. She received criticism early on and kept to herself after that. Artists always receive criticism both before, during and after their careers. If Dickinson had chosen to pursue wider acclaim, she might have obtained it - but who knows...

Shakespeare was immensely "popular". He retired rich. So was Whitman. So was Frost. Keats didn't live long enough. Hemingway, Faulkner, Dickens- all achieved significant followings during their day.

Monteverdi, Schutz, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Shelley, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Dryden, Pope, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, Picasso etc...

//If someone tells me a book is on the best seller list, I lose interest in it. //

"Poor Folk, published in the periodical The Contemporary (Sovremennik), was met with great acclaim. As legend has it, the editor of the magazine, poet Nikolai Nekrasov, walked into the office of liberal critic Vissarion Belinsky and announced, "a new Gogol has arisen!" Belinsky, his followers, and many others agreed. After the novel was fully published in book form at the beginning of the next year, Dostoyevsky became a literary celebrity at the age of 24."

If there had been a best seller list, Dostoyevsky would have been on it - as well as Tolstoy. If there had been a best seller list in Shakespeare's day (in terms of attendance) his plays would have been on it. Dickens would have been at the top. He became a wealthy man.

All of them were "popular".

If not even *one* poet from the latter half of the twentieth century can claim any kind of wider following, can't even claim name recognition(!) within the wider non-poetry reading public, then as, as was said, they've got a problem. They're only talking to each other.

Greatness and obscurity is the exception, not the rule.



Edward Byrne said...


If you are going to decide which examples I propose are relevant and which are not, there is no point in further discussion. Also, you might want to reexamine the examples you put forth. Faulkner was poor and every one of his books were out of print in the 1940s, including all his works we now consider "great." The only novel that had sold well, Sanctuary, temporarily hurt his reputation as a writer.

Anonymous said...


//If you are going to decide which examples I propose are relevant and which are not//

Emily Dickinson never sought public acclaim. She wasn't "rejected" by the greater public because she didn't seek it to begin with.

If I can't legitimately question your examples, then you are as much as stating that only *you* get to decide which are relevant and which are not. There is indeed no point in further discussion.

As to Faulkner:

"Faulkner received the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature for "his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." He donated a portion of his Nobel winnings "to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers," eventually resulting in the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He donated another portion to a local Oxford bank to establish an account to provide scholarship funds to help educate African-American education majors at nearby Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Faulkner won two Pulitzer Prizes for what are considered as his "minor" novels: his 1954 novel A Fable, which took the Pulitzer in 1955, and the 1962 novel, The Reivers, which was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer in 1963. He also won two National Book Awards, first for his Collected Stories in 1951 and once again for his novel A Fable in 1955."

Your history of Faulkner is rather selective.

Lastly, my self-esteem isn't at stake in this discussion. If the evidence proves that I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. I'm not in the habit of making assertions that I'm not willing to change.

Edward Byrne said...

My history of Faulkner was not selective; instead, it was instructive. He won his awards, including the Nobel Prize, despite a lack of best-selling sales. He proves my point that "greatness" is not defined by book sales or dependent upon commercial success and popular appeal.

Anonymous said...

//He proves my point that "greatness" is not defined by book sales or dependent upon commercial success and popular appeal.//

You're putting words into my mouth. I never said that "greatness" is "defined by book sales".

Fortunately, there's a record of what I wrote just two comments before. I wrote:

"It's not everything, but it's very significant."

Let me translate that: There's a significant correlation between recognition, which entails artistic success (salable and sold material) and Greatness.

Secondly, for you to say that this somehow proves your point is as nonsensical as for me to say that my example of Dickins proves *my* point.

For the record, I have never claimed that my point was or is proven. All that I'm saying is that I'm willing to test my claim.

//My history of Faulkner was not selective//

Faulkner had his ups and down, no doubt. This is from Minter's Biography of Faulkner:

"Soon Faulkner's spirits were bolstered by other good news, including publication and reviews of The Portable Faulkner. Eventually Cowley's projectg would help to inaugurate a major critical reevaluation of Faulkner's achievement. More immediately, it helped persuade Random House to reissue The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying in a Modern Library Edition, which i turn helped to bring other novels back into print. During the summer Harold Ober informed him that RKO wanted to buy rights to "Death Drag" and "Honor," and that Cagney Productions wanted to buy rights to "Two Soldiers." Together these sales totaled more than $10,000."

Several pages later (Page 213) Minter writes:

Intruder in the Dust not only represented Faulkner's first finished attempt to become "articulate in the national voice," it also marked his final move toward fame and fortune. The money and *recognition* that had eluded a series of major achievements now came easily to a minor performance.... [snip] Now, with money in the bank, there were trips to make, a sailboat to buy, clothes and books to purchase, a house to enlarge. Since his desire for such things, like Estelle's and Jill's would continue to grow, the $50,000 would disappear quickly. But since there other big paydays to follow, his worry about money was over. Never again would his and his family's desire for money far outstrip his ability to make it."

I call this material success and recognition. If you disagree, take it up with Minter.

But look, if you want the last word, you should have it. This is your blog, not mine. My last word is this: The fact that the latter generation of 20th Century poets are virtually unknown among the general public is a relevant & possibly reliable indicator of their future reputation. History, according to study, already tells us so.



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Anonymous said...

HI Ed!

I believe that Poets and Poetry have been severely censored and ridiculed by the elitist power structure that vies for global power.... Poets, if you can remember the 70's, have an incredible power to CHANGE THE WORLD. It would seem logical that those focused on stopping change and tightening power over the masses would likely be forced to control poetry in societies that are communist, facist, or totalitarian. I am not convinced that the banking system/Fed reserve is not part of a, well, oppressive organization hell bent on mind control.... Why are there no successfull modern poets? Because the powers that be do not want Poetry to be a source of income, political advocacy, Truth telling, etc.... The world, according to this thesis, does not want people reading Allen Ginsburg or listening to Jimmy Hendrix. Our media is controlled in my opinion by a very tight fisted communist style government.... It was the stuff that filled my late father's poetry, and is the reason he is so underrated -- you just can't write about the CIA smuggling cocaine and Sandanistas without getting earmarked a traitor......

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