Thursday

Deluge



Rain and more rain and more rain.  The small stream runs roiling and racing through this valley white-capped.  Last night I actually thought I heard waves moving out of its bed into the meadow and then back into its bed. As though some sort of sea was forming and establishing a tide for itself.  I was mistaken and must admit to be glad to be so as the culvert created bridge I use to leave the valley would probably not withstand a sea created tide.

And what else am I mistaken about?  Many things probably. Or at least a few, considering the odds of being right all the time.  I re-read a line in my last post  "...and if that's not a masterwork I don't know what one is..." and could clearly imagine the likes of Mr Hall laughingly dismissing my assessment of Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing In America without a moment's hesitation.

Laughingly dismissive as well would probably be all three of the new Academy of American Poets chancellors.  I went to their website, poets.org, this morning to find and read a few of the works of Robert Creeley.  Mr Hall thinks him to be the very best of 20th century poets.  That's hands down bar none so I wanted to consider his work more closely.  While there I also read a few of the works of the three new chancellors.  Professional poets who had all been heavily funded and much published.

Damn.  I just don't get it.  I don't get their work.  Not one of the three.  Creeley's work was wonderful.  I'm not quite as ready as was Hall to crown him king of ice cream but I see why someone would. The three new chancellor's works were all, to my mind, extremely thoughtful, well-written essays.  Filled with insight and cleverly turned phrase.  But were they poetry?  I don't think so.

Am I mistaken?  Have I become reactionary?  Am I iconoclastic? Have I bitten into an extremely sour grape?  Have I read poetry and thought it was not in the same way I thought the stream had created a tide? Or, like this last week's downpour, has our society's publishing methodologies created a deluge? A river of work running so high and so fast that none of us can see whether a fish is in there or not.