Saturday, June 23, 2007

Of 2 on Difficulty

(Consideration: When under the sway of a strong belief/ it is hard to avoid being overly harsh.) - - - - - Thursday on his blog I read "On Difficulty in Poetry: a revision" by Reginald Shepherd. Friday evening after making a "Richard Wilbur Benign Obscurity" search at Google/ I chose to access a return from Poetry International III where I read "The Mystique of the Difficult Poem" by Steve Kowit. When I finished working my way through that lengthy review/opinion essay, I reread Mr. Shepherd's lengthy essay. This morning I coursed through each essay in search of what I deemed especially important. I decided the penultimate paragraph in Mr. Kowit's essay was. I decided the final paragraph in section 3 and the whole of section 4 in Mr. Shepherd's essay were. This essay is a straight-on examination of the matter of difficulty. While their central philosophies regarding poem-making are not compatible, both authors see value in difficulty, but Kowit's acceptance of difficulty is preceded by his insistence on comprehensibility. I prefer to background their philosophies and foreground the diverse poets and theorists each cites, none of whom is against difficulty per se. Why?: because this fact supports my conviction poets and poetry theorists need to curtail the I'm-better-than-you-are game. - - See directory2007 in Catmap. - Rho00002

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