14 June 2005

letter to a poet whose poem I tried to critique

On further reflection, I feel that my argument was entirely flawed in that I was proposing a methodology to add a place for me in your poems, me being the iconic "reader"—whereas the whole idea of putting the reader in the poem is nothing but a construct proposed by various poets and/or critics and may have nothing whatsoever to do with your poetry.

That is to say, the MFA illuminates a field of received dreams, none of which may be your dream or mine, and the challenge, it seems to me, today and tomorrow, etc. is to take scraps of novelty gleaned from the MFA back into our own caves and try to recall what made us put words to page, syllables to music, thoughts to dancing.

Because no matter what we think, the MFA represents the academy, the state of affairs before you and I took note of received wisdom.

Whereas you and i represent our own art, what existed before we allowed the academy to probe and demolish, what persists today against a backdrop of greater, although not necessarily better, awareness.

Why are you writing a poem on June 14th? Not what do I or anyone else think.

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