Sunday, July 31, 2011

just a tremendous poet

in the TLS (p.16, April 17/09), Hugo Williams relates how Ian Hamilton, in one of his USA pobiz-crawls, encountered, quote:

a certain professor who had gone on about the work of Clayton Eshleman. "Just a tremendous poet", he said. Surprised by this, Ian asked for the title of a good poem by Eshleman. "Oh, I don't know", said the professor. "Taken as a whole, you see. Just a tremendous poet." Ian insisted on knowing the name of a single decent poem so he'd be able to understand what the professor was talking about. "Oh for God's sake", the man said. "What is this anthologist's approach to literature?"

see the advocates of poetry—call them "the professors"


the advocates of the poem—call them "the anthologists"

as one of the latter, i am as amused and bewildered as Hamilton was

by the poetry-profs . . .

for "Eshleman" you could substitute almost any name from the Avantipoo list (spicer kelly howe et al) and the joke would still apply . . .


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