arduity: a difficult poetry update

This is to announce a flurry of recent activity from contributors which is especially welcome as it means I feel less guilty about not being able to write anything useful about Eliot.
Vance Maverick has written on ‘Povel’ by Geraldine Kim which has certainly made me think again about the quality of ‘experimental’ work in the USA.
Taylor Gould has kicked off a debate on the almost dead body that is contemporary poetry and this has drawn responses thus far from Vance and myself. We all seem to be strong on diagnosis but less confident with regard to cure. Anyone else wishing to make a contribution can contact me using the address on the arduity site.
Jim Kleinhenz has produced a long and wonderfully digressive piece on Wallace Stevens’ “The Rock” which manages to take in Beethoven, Said, Adorno and many others along the way.
Any further contributions would, as ever, be most welcome.
I’ll now digress into my Eliot problem. I first read the poems forty years ago and have re-read infrequently since, I’ve also read more about Eliot than any other 20th century poet so I should be fairly well equipped to write a few sentences about the work. The problem is that so much stuff has been written that it’s really hard to write something that doesn’t feel redundant. I feel (in the spirit of the project) write something helpful about “The Wasteland” but I don’t find the poem that interesting except for its historical context. This is probably because I think I know where most of the bodies are buried and I don’t want my disenchantment to come through. I have tried but there’s too many lines that seem cheap and I’m unable to refrain from pointing at them. This is not helpful to readers who want to feel more confident in dealing with difficulty.
So, a personal plea for anyone who can write a helpful introduction to either “The Wasteland” or “The Four Quartets” without getting too lit crit or contextual would be very much appreciated.
One final question- can Zbigniew Herbert be considered to be difficult?

Advertisements

3 responses to “arduity: a difficult poetry update

  1. Vance Maverick has written on ‘Povel’ by Geraldine Kim which has certainly made me think again about the quality of ‘experimental’ work in the USA.

    Diplomatically put! Thanks for the opportunity, in any case.

    • This reads as more pointed than intended. I should also have said that, as a result, I’ve ordered ‘Povel’ because I’m intrigued – and that’s what arduity’s about (I think).

      • Thanks for the followup. I didn’t really think you intended the “faint praise” effect — but that you were moved to order a copy, on the other hand, is better success than I imagined.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s