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Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Is to Be Done? (on contemporary poetry and reviewers)

Oh, I am often out in the cold with my taste in poetry, but I am glad to see that others also have a poor opinion of Robert Frost. Mind you, I often quote his criticism and poetic theory which I find far more interesting than his poetry, but there you go. Today I came across a long article on PIP's blog - Project for Innovative Poetry by Douglas Messerli, poet, editor and publisher - http://pippoetry.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-is-to-be-done-on-contemporary.html. As I say, it is lengthy, so if you haven't the time or the interest to read it all, let me print for you here a footnote which I found hilarious.

"*I haven’t read what David Orr describes as Susan Wheeler’s “very funny imitation” of Frost, but I myself have written a satiric poem “after” Frost:

The Acquaintance
(after Robert Frost)

I have been, I have
walked, I have outwalked.
I have looked, I have passed
And dropped my eyes.
I have stood still
When far away,
Come to houses
But not to call
And further still
One luminous clock
Proclaimed the time
Taken to be.

I might add that perhaps the funniest of all “satires” on Frost might be the Richard Adler and Jerry Ross song from The Pajama Game, “Hernando’s Hideaway,” the music of which is written in the same rhythm as Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” If one puts the music to Frost’s poem, it is difficult to read the poem thereafter with a straight face.

DOUGLAS MESSERLI"

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