Thursday, April 2, 2009

On Big G-Great and Other Trends

Apparently, when I wasn't looking (or simply not reading the New York Times, which I don't subscribe to in more ways than one), David Orr published this particularly piquant essay, "The Great(ness) Game." With plenty of nods to Donald Hall's essay, "Poetry and Ambition", it's a re-visitation of an old theme.

If you'd like to see some fallout, go to the blog "Everything's Jake" where I found the Orr article while looking for this Whitman quote: "To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too." (Didn't I say all this before? I did, in an earlier blog for Fringe.) You'll find lots of comments.

Oddly (well, maybe not), the Big Authors like Orr tend to overlook much of the young contemporary stuff. It's up to people like me to go after that meat, and in the spirit of that I ask: well, is anyone really Great these days of my Gen-X generation? Now, thinking of "Fame" and all that comes with constant publication, I wonder if Poetry doesn't lack a certain camaraderie with, say, Twitter. In other words, are the impulses that forces people to write inane and ridiculous updates the same?

For an slightly off-topic jaunt in this direction, try this article on Twitter at The News & Observer. My contention is that (sometimes, at least) today's poems are mere "tweets" if put side-by-side with the so-called Great Poems. Decide, as always, for yourself.

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