Thursday, November 26, 2009

american (sic) hybrid


A quote from Holderlin:

"There is only one real quarrel in the world: which is more important, the whole or the individual part."

Poetry, or the poem?

Process, or product?

In practice, poets do seem to make a choice between the two—I'm hardly the first to note this . . .

I'm sorry, but I don't think this "one real quarrel" can be ended or resolved by proclamation—

Of course you can always assert that your "American [sic] Hybrid" has transcended this argument,

and sell your illusory empty amalgam,

market your scam (or dream) . . . but?

As to which option is preferable, surely it depends on the personality of the poet?

"The whole" or "poetry" worked for O'Hara,

while "
the individual part" or "the poem" worked for Larkin.

You can't say either of them made the wrong choice.