Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reconstructive Post-Modernism

Jump.

This is a nice synopsis (from the book description).


Charles Jencks
What is Post-Modernism
1996

What is Post-Modernism? Is it a new world view, or an outgrowth of the Post-Industrial Society? Is it a shift in philosophy, the arts and architecture?

In this fourth, entirely revised edition, Charles Jencks, one of the founders of the Post-Modern Movement, shows it is all these things plus many other forces that have exploded since the early 1960s. In a unique analysis, using diagrams designed especially for this edition, he reveals the evolutionary, social and economic forces of this new stage of global civilisation. But why has post-modern culture arrived?

In an ironic parable, ‘the Protestant Crusade’. Jencks uncovers some hitherto hidden origins: the Modernists’ abhorrence for all things sensuous and natural, and their zeal for all things orderly and mechanistic. This pseudo-religion led in the 1920s to the famous ‘vacuum-cleaning’ period, the purgation of values, metaphysics and emotion. In the 1970s it led on to the ‘Protestant Inquisition’ which inadvertently created the very enemy Modernists feared — Post-Modernism; a Counter-Reformation, the reassertion of worldliness, fecundity, humour and pluralism.

However, more than one tradition emerged and Jencks, distinguishing two types of Post-Modernism (deconstructive and reconstructive) demonstrates that the former is often a disguised form of Late-Modernism. This takes the de-creation and nihilism of its parent to extremes.

The main engine that drives global culture today — post-modernisation, the electronic economy and instant communications network — is analysed in its close relation to other ‘posts’: Post-Fordism, Post-Socialism and the post-national world of trading blocs and unstable nations.

Jencks argues that this may result in catastrophe and global governance, or a web of transnational institutions and obligations. The most radical idea of this challenging book is the conclusion: the notion that the post-modern world does not mean the end of metanarratives, but something quite different. Belief systems are flourishing as never before and, Jencks argues, ‘a new metanarrative, based on the story of the universe and its generative qualities, will soon create a new world view that will affect all areas. It is a story which grows directly out of the post-modern sciences of complexity and is thus both true and mythic.’

Always hoping for a bigger splash.

+

I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read some other things from Jencks, and this seems to fit well with what I remember of those books. At the time (the 90s), I wasn’t seeing quite what he was talking about in regards to “reconstructive post-modernism,” but now, by 2011, I think his analysis has come into flower.

Post-modernism, as many have heard it talked about (the cliché version, or the kitsch version, of Post-Modernism), is really what Jencks would term “Deconstructive Post-Modernism,” and really, not a proper Post-Modernism at all, but rather the spinning out of Modernism.

The plurality that we see erupting on all sides that doesn’t fit these definitions of Deconstructive Post-Modernism, has now gotten large enough to no longer be able to be swept under the rug of the easy term. I like that idea. I’m sympathetic to that idea. Reconstructive Post-Modernism. It sounds hopeful. (As long as the flowering meta-narratives don't get consumed by their success and we end up with a horrific global order/catastrophe, that is.)

It’s fitting, then, staying on the hopeful side, that David Hockney is one of his favorite examples. He's one of mine, too.

So let's go! Oh, wait, we're already there.

Addendum: Here’s a bit more on the Jencks’s Modern Lineage:


CRITICAL MODERNISM – where is post-modernism going?
Charles Jencks

After developing for thirty years as a movement in the arts, after being disputed and celebrated, Post-Modernism has become an integral part of the cultural landscape. Charles Jencks argues that the movement is one more reaction from within modernism critical of its shortcomings. The unintended consequences of modernisation, such as the destruction of cities and global warming, are typical issues motivating Critical Modernism today. In a unique analysis, using many explanatory diagrams and graphs, he reveals the evolutionary, social and economic forces of this new stage of global civilisation.

Critical Modernism emerges at two different levels.

First, as an underground movement, it is the notion that there are many modernisms (not a single style or ideology). As far as the critical side is concerned, they react to two very different things: their own internal problems and the outside world as they find it, today globalisation and the terrorist debacle. In the arts it means looking critically at both the content and formal languages of creation, simultaneously, and it shares with Critical Theory the idea of exposing ideologies in order to enhance freedom, both of the group and individual. As far as the modernism side is concerned there is the usual commitment to progress, competition, and the romantic urge to overcome the previous generation. This results in a curious continuity and break, the swerve and the concealed repetition.

Second, when these movements follow each other in quick succession, as they do today, they may reach a ‘critical mass,’ a Modernism2, and become a conscious tradition. After two hundred years of one modernism replacing another, this might result in a more reflexive movement, one mature enough to reflect on its own dark side while celebrating creativity, a tradition come of age.

Modernisms: The key polemics

I 3rd-5th centuryModernus. Early Christians proclaim their ethical progress over paganism.

II 1450-1600Moderna. Renaissance usage by Filarete and Vasari on the superiority of the classical rebirth, distinguishing the ‘good’ revival (buona maniera moderna) from the ‘bad’ contemporary Gothic.

III 1600-1850Battle of the Ancients and Moderns. Again ‘modern’ means improvement over the ancient, invention within the classical tradition. The famous “Quarrel” within the French Academy starts in the 1690s and lasts 200 years, while the British contrast progressive classicism with Gothic.

IV 1755Modernism as fashionable rubbish. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary defines ‘Modernism: Deviation from the ancient and classical manner….Modern: in Shakespeare. Vulgar, mean, common. “We have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless.”

V 1900Modernism. a Roman Catholic movement examining tradition that was officially condemned in 1907 by Pope Pius X for atheism and having an exaggerated love of what is modern.

VI 1914-30Modern Movement. In literature the free verse, stream of consciousness and experiments by Pound, Eliot, Joyce and Woolf; in design the technical and social progressivism of those practicing the International Style; in the arts the isms stem from Baudelaire and include Dada and Surrealism.

VII 1930-50Reactionary Modernism. The movements led by Mussolini, Franco, Hitler and Stalin that accepted the modern notion of the zeitgeist and a progressive technology and mass production.

VIII 1960sLate Modernism tied to Late Capitalism. The proliferation of formalist movements, such as Op and Conceptual Art, and the exaggeration of abstract experiments in a Minimalist direction eschewing content. John Cage in music, Norman Foster in architecture, Frank Stella in painting, Clement Greenberg in art theory, Samuel Beckett in literature, and the Pax Americana in politics.

IX 1970sPost-Modernism. Stemming from the counter culture, was the double-coding of modernism with other languages to communicate with a local or wide audience. In literature, John Barth and Umberto Eco, in urbanism and architecture, Jane Jacobs and James Stirling, in the arts, Pop Art, Land Art and the content-driven work of Ron Kitaj, Mark Tansey and Damien Hirst.

X 2000Critical Modernism. Refers both to the continuous dialectic between modernisms as they criticize each other and to the way the compression of many modernisms forces a self-conscious criticality, a Modernism2. Skeptical of its own dark sides, yet celebrating creativity, it finds expression in cities such as Berlin that have come of age under opposite versions of modernity.

42 Comments:

At 11/12/2011 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very intersting. I may have to buy the book (curse you, Gallaher).

After a quick read I'm wondering if the idea of critical modernism is analogous to meta modernism (or post-postmodernism, transmodernism, remodernism, altermodernism, etc. etc.) ideas we've seen before, of it's substantially different.

Paul

 
At 11/12/2011 10:29 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I think I might have to buy this book as well. The second one. Amazon has it for 32.00 USD.

I think it's the very same thing, yes, as these, but, in the way I'm seeing his argument (from reading other work of his from the 80s, and reading around about these books online), he stresses a “plurality of approaches” and “rejects any reductive approach to architecture, attempting a more comprehensive reading, even questioning the validity of any overarching category."

He writes about architecture (and literature, visual arts, and politics):

“[. . .] architectural traditions are rich and complex in their profusion and any attempt to reduce them to some simplistic notion of ‘modern’ or ‘the true style’ would be myopic and destructive. It is the historian’s obligation to search for the plurality of creative movements and individuals . . . and elucidate their creativity.”

 
At 11/13/2011 5:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Joyce, Eliot, Pound, and Woolf were jenny-come-lates; the originator of stream-of-conscious modernism would be Ralph Waldo Emerson's godson, William James, the 19th century nitrous oxide philosopher, the first ever Psychology professor, where he guided Gertrude Stein, Eliot and Stevens at Harvard. Philosophy, the love of wisdom, was replaced by Psychology, the love of everything wacky.

Also, the WW I era of Pound and Ford Madox Ford modernism was already fascist---which more blatantly bloomed during the WW II era. There never was a golden age of modernism, which was nothing but Emerson's transcendentalism with gas masks. The post-modern dance is nothing but modernism in its death throes, the corpse of John Maynard Keynes, First Baron Keynes of Tilton, twitching digitially in drag.

T. Brady

 
At 11/13/2011 5:33 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

 
At 11/13/2011 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, coleridge, opium addict, and employed by the east india company, romanticism's pusher, the drug supplier of lyrical ballads tra la

'did you ever hear me preach, mr. lamb?'

'why, mr. coleridge, i ne'er heard you do else!'

 
At 11/13/2011 1:50 PM, Blogger David Grove said...

I'm not sure about this, but Dujardin's stream of consciousness, which influenced Joyce, may have preceded James' use of the stream metaphor. Apparently D. was an interior monologist before James' Principles of Psychology was published. Anyone know?

 
At 11/13/2011 5:33 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Tom Brady said:

“Also, the WW I era of Pound and Ford Madox Ford modernism was already fascist---which more blatantly bloomed during the WW II era. There never was a golden age of modernism, which was nothing but Emerson's transcendentalism with gas masks.”

Really?



And Thus In Nineveh


“Aye! I am a poet and upon my tomb
Shall maidens scatter rose leaves
And men myrtles, ere the night
Slays day with her dark sword.

Lo! this thing is not mine
Nor thine to hinder,
For the custom is full old,
And here in Nineveh have I beheld
Many a singer pass and take his place
In those dim halls where no man troubleth
His sleep or song.
And many a one hath sung his songs
More craftily, more subtle-souled than I;
And many a one now doth surpass
My wave-worn beauty with his wind of flowers,
Yet am I the poet, and upon my tomb
Shall all men scatter rose leaves
Ere the night slays light
With her blue sword.

“It is not, Raana, that my song rings highest
Or more sweet in tone than any, but that I
Am here a poet, that doth drink of life
As lesser men drink wine.”

- Ezra Pound

 
At 11/13/2011 6:03 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I mean, it's like deja vu all over again.

Form
Content
Form
Content

Pound:

Form..."Modernist".
Content..."Romantic".

Go figure.

 
At 11/13/2011 6:52 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

The king may wear a blue shirt or a red shirt or a yellow shirt, but he is still the king.

That is, the shape of a poem is irrelevant. It's the message, the meaning, the point!

Contemporary 'Zeitgeist' poets of any age will be very popular in their times, but later...

I give you the Beatles vs. the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan vs. the Cars,
William Blake vs., well, I won't go there.

:-)

 
At 11/13/2011 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lo!

 
At 11/13/2011 7:16 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Those are false comparison's, Gary.

First, it's The Beatles vs. The Stones.

Second, it's the Beach Boys vs. Brian Wilson's Drug addiction.

Third, it's William Blake vs. Jack Spicer (were those angels or aliens in the trees?).

 
At 11/13/2011 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greys, of course. Blake just wasn't hip to the new narrative.

Lo!

 
At 11/13/2011 8:53 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Fuzz:

I’m not sure if you’re just having a little fun with me here or are serious. My objective was to compare the lasting (due to inherent meaning that will be left to posterity) to the flash in the pan. I considered the Stones (my favorite group, by the way), as an example but they didn’t work as well for my purposes as the Beatles, who are still popular after all these years.

The Beach Boys (who I have greatly enjoyed) have been relegated to the past due to their own empty contemporary zeitgeist.

My point was that some things will last forever (Blake) and some things won’t (Spicer).

 
At 11/13/2011 9:47 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Fuzz:

You did mean Jack Gilbert, didn't you?

GBF

 
At 11/13/2011 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My point was that some things will last forever (Blake) and some things won’t (Spicer)."

Leaving aside my (strong) preference for Spicer, I have to dismiss on broad historical principle anyone's predictions of what will last forever and what won't.

The Beatles were dismissed by most critics as a flash in the pan in their early days. Bach wasn't taken seriously as a composer until nearly a century after his death.

The Beach Boys have been tremendously influential on other bands, and I've read critics who consider Brian Wilson one of the two or three most important composers of the rock era.

If you really think you know how his music (or anything) will be judged a hundred years from now, you're either a psychic or a jackass.

On another note, this whole line of questioning makes great assumptions about whether an artist's responsibility is to posterity or to his or her own time. You've made your answer clear, but not everyone agrees.

Paul

 
At 11/14/2011 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Pound poem is affected nonsense. The sword of night? Perhaps admirers of pound and modernism more generally simply don't get it? They really can't tell the difference between what is really exquisite, the best of Shelley, or Poe, or Keats, for instance, and the fake, like that incoherent Pound and his 'yet i am the poet' because i say so! lol And so they run headlong into the awful new as a defense against their ignorance?

Brian Wilson...meh. The Stones were a thousand times better. "Lady Jane."

T Brady

 
At 11/14/2011 4:54 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Gary,

I am 100% serious.

Even to this day there are still debates as to who is greater, The Stones or the Beatles. Personally, I like both.

The Beach Boys imploded due to Wilson's drub habit. Still, they just released a deluxe edition of the Smile sessions which are worth checking out.

Lastly, Spicer is here to stay, whether or not you see his wings covered in feathers or a result of some alien technology.

Keep your radio tuned to your favorite station.

 
At 11/14/2011 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lo!

 
At 11/14/2011 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any number of 60s bands had better songs than the Beach Boys: the Turtles, Lovin' Spoonful, Grass Roots, The Doors, The Who, the Bee Gees, the list goes on and on...

The Beach Boys were sued by Chuck Berry for stealing his music on their first hit. Berry won, Brian Wilson lost. When they debuted the song, they lip-synched it.

The Beach Boys are the WC Williams of American rock: overrated.

Does anyone know the poet Jack Spy?
Jack Spice? Terrific poets, both. One writes songs, I believe. The first was knighted. Jack Spy: Sir.

Thomas Brady

 
At 11/14/2011 7:49 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Thom,

Why is everything a dick measuring contest with you?

 
At 11/14/2011 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuzz,

Was I measuring dicks?

I thought it was bands!

Maybe I should ask you why you need to project dick-measuring onto everything I say...

Shall I think, 'Better curb what I say...don't wan't fuzz to think I'm shoving my dick around'...really, fuzz??? Is that how you want me to mend my rhetorical style to please you?? Again, I thought we were just talking about bands. Do you have some deep personal interest in the Beach Boys, so much so that someone else can't have a different opinion from you on them?

Oh, I forgot the Kinks...

Tom

 
At 11/14/2011 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a big beach boys fan myself, but I'm pointing out that there's a whole body of rock criticism that takes Brian Wilson very seriously. If anything his stature has only risen over the years. Personally I find Pet Sounds unlistenable ... but people I respect take me to task on this regularly.

I'm trying to suggest that there is in fact room for debate, and that the canon has not yet reached it's final form (safe to say, because canons never stop morphing).

FWIW, I love the Stones to death, but think they're great in spite of their songwriting, not because of it!

Paul

 
At 11/14/2011 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2 cents: remember the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's might not have happened quite the way it did without Brian Wilson and the Pet Sounds album. Wilson helped to pioneer a whole new way of recording for his time (OK, in part ripping off Phil Spector's "Wall Of Sound"). McCartney at least has gone on about how influenced he was by Wilson. Yeah, much of the Beach Boys catalogue sounds dated compared to much of the Beatles (or Stones) output, so what. But the Beatles and Beach Boys were both influenced by the Everly Bros. anyway... Also, whenever the Stones tour, they pretty much set records for concert revenue (the ticket prices are mucho $$$!) and their music still sell big time... so I don't think they're actually any less popular than the Beatles, for whatever that's worth. If you love the blues and garage rock rawness, the Stones' early 70s (Exile, Sticky Fingers, etc.) are still some of the best of its genre. Keith Richards is THE guitarman for that stuff--"5 strings, 3 chords, 2 fingers and 1 asshole" as Mr. Richards said himself onetime. Yup, it's only rock n' roll but I like it.

--Chris D.

 
At 11/14/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

The Beach Boys didn't make much sense to me until after I had made it through Animal Collective's catalog. They're by no means my favorite from that era (The Kinks), but I do think they're important.

Really though, it's all about Os Mutantes first album.

 
At 11/14/2011 12:01 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Thom,

I don't want you to agree with me. What I'd prefer is for you to not create stupid comparisons that are neither accurate nor relevant.

For example:

"The Beach Boys are the WC Williams of American rock: overrated."

Whatever your opinion on either subject, there is no connection between the two. This is all part of the game you love to play: creating hierarchies.

WCW is bad, as are the Beach boys. Want to see real music? Listen to the Beatles (and read poet X).

 
At 11/14/2011 12:07 PM, Blogger David Grove said...

You guys seem to know 60s bands pretty well, but if you haven't heard The Zombies, try their album Odessey(sic)and Oracle. A favorite of mine.

 
At 11/14/2011 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thom, you're starting to sound like the Leonard P. Abrams of poetry blogging. Abrams, you'll recall, was the most verbaly combative assistant mixing engineer at Stax/Volt studios between 1964 an 1965, before he left to start a motel chain.

Paul

 
At 11/14/2011 5:11 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Paul said:

“Leaving aside my (strong preference for Spicer, I have to dismiss on broad historical principle anyone's predictions of what will last forever and what won't.
‘The Beatles were dismissed by most critics as a flash in the pan in their early days. Bach wasn't taken seriously as a composer until nearly a century after his death.”

Paul, I think you have just proved my point. Cream always rises to the top, right? Time is the only measure.

Paul also said:

“If you really think you know how his music [Brian Wilson] (or anything) will be judged a hundred years from now, you're either a psychic or a jackass.”

You are 100% correct. In fact, when I argue with either my religious or atheist friends I tell them the exact same thing: anyone who is absolutely sure about whether there is or is not a God, the ‘purpose’ of life, life after death, Heaven or Hell, is a fool. Only the dead know for sure. So, pursuant to your point, I agree that only those living 100 years from now will know for sure. We do, though, as you said, have “broad historical principle”, so there is some basis for logical assumption and predictions.

Paul further said:

“On another note, this whole line of questioning makes great assumptions about whether an artist's responsibility is to posterity or to his or her own time. You've made your answer clear, but not everyone agrees.”

I admit that I am biased as hell due to the style of poetry I write and prefer. However, if you had the choice, what would you choose...being a “flash in the pan” or being a Blake or a Bach?

Gary

 
At 11/14/2011 5:29 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Gary,

I don't think anyone chooses to be a flash in the pan or a part of the canon. This isn't something that's linked to style, at least not anymore.

Still, Rimbaud's dictum still applies. "One muse be absolutely modern."

 
At 11/14/2011 5:31 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I think that's supposed to be "One must be completely modem."

In these other things, yes, no one gets much of a choice in the matter.

 
At 11/14/2011 5:36 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Hahaha, you're right. We can leave the muses out of this.

 
At 11/14/2011 5:56 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I’m just saying that you’ve got your Dylan Thomas and you’ve got your Rod McKuen. You’ve got your Bob Dylan and you’ve got your Britney Spears.

Your choice, of course.

 
At 11/14/2011 5:56 PM, Blogger David Grove said...

J.S. Bach was almost forgotten for almost a century after his death, so for a long time time he seemed to be a Fasch in the pan.

So you might seem like gunpowder flashing in a musket's pan, but maybe you're really like tobacco or hash in a bowl, and you can be relit a time or two before you're cashed.

I'd like to be a flash from a paparazzo's camera in Charlotte Gainsbourg's pan...

 
At 11/14/2011 6:19 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Fuzz said:

“I don't think anyone chooses to be a flash in the pan or a part of the canon. This isn't something that's linked to style, at least not anymore.”

Fuzz, I believe that you may have missed my point. Allow me to reiterate my earlier comment:

“That is, the shape of a poem is irrelevant. It's the message, the meaning, the point!”

Content!
Content!
Content!

“It's the message, the meaning, the point!”

It’s the content that makes a poem great, man, not the style. Something you and I will understand and something our great-great-great grandchildren will understand as well. The style is irrelevant.

 
At 11/14/2011 6:50 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I apologize, Fuzz.

On closer reading, I realize that you may have been making the very point that I was when responding to you.

Style is no longer the measure of good poetry.

Gary

 
At 11/14/2011 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“That is, the shape of a poem is irrelevant. It's the message, the meaning, the point!”

That sounds to me like an argument for prose.

Leaving aside, of course, the very difficult questions of where content ends and form begins (I've studied this subject for a couple of decades in relation to photography, and can't say I have an authoritative answer).

But a short answer to your proposition ("Yay content / Boo form"): I think it's b.s. and impossible to defend.

"Paul, I think you have just proved my point. Cream always rises to the top, right? Time is the only measure"

No, I haven't proved your point. I've supported my own: that predictions in these matters are always dubious.

"if you had the choice, what would you choose...being a “flash in the pan” or being a Blake or a Bach?"

It doesn't matter, because I don't have the choice. I can only do the work that I'm driven to do and able to do.

Paul

 
At 11/15/2011 3:38 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

They say altitude is determined by attitude, and that the race is not to the swift, but to those who keep running. Nevertheless, cream doesn't always rise to the top. I mean, I hate to throw cold water on your theory, but you need to think outside the box and remember that full many a flower was born to blush unseen and waste its fragrance on the desert air. I mean, you can keep your nose to the grindstone to spite your face and yet be always the bridesmaid, never the bride. But look on the bright side: a flash in the pan is worth two in the bush.

 
At 11/15/2011 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thom, you're starting to sound like the Leonard P. Abrams of poetry blogging."

---Paul

Rats. I thought I was the Andrew Loog Oldham, or at least, the Bruce Botnick!

 
At 11/15/2011 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to be the Claudette Colbert of poetry. Is that one taken yet?

 
At 11/15/2011 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thom, I've received a sternly worded letter from the legal counsel of Abrams Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and have been asked to clarify that there is in fact no relationship, commercial, metaphorical, or otherwise, between Mr. Abrams and any poet or critic, living or dead, known or unknown. I have also agreed to make the following statement:

"I apologize to everyone, for everything, and will not mention this subject again."

Paul

 
At 11/15/2011 2:14 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Paul said:

“But a short answer to your proposition ("Yay content / Boo form"): I think it's b.s. and impossible to defend.”

That’s just silly. You completely misunderstand me. I am a great proponent of ‘form’. If you had been following me here for the last few months you would be aware of how critical I have been about the lack of form in much of contemporary poetry. I follow a middle way: my poetry always has meter and rhyme, but I prefer a more ‘Modernist’, less structured style. That is, I don’t conform to rigid form but I do believe that if one takes the time to read a poem they should get something out of it, something, that is, at least more important that a fun romp on the Disneyworld tea cup ride.

Paul also said:

"’if you had the choice, what would you choose...being a “flash in the pan” or being a Blake or a Bach?’.
It doesn't matter, because I don't have the choice. I can only do the work that I'm driven to do and able to do.”


It’s funny you should say that. I said almost the same thing.

Following is a comment from the introduction to my chapbook by Allen Taylor, the publisher:

“If I could point out one clear strength of Gary B. Fitzgerald, it would be his connection to human consciousness. In these poems there are elements of science, history, pathos, philosophy, spirituality, humor, and nature. I think if William Blake were writing poetry in the 21st century it might look like some of these poems.

Whatever else you might make of Hardwood, you should just enjoy it. These poems, like the great ‘I Am’ itself, just are. They exist.

Fitzgerald again: ‘I guess you could say that the purpose of my poetry is the same as that of an apple tree. It just is. It grows because it must. If someone comes along and picks an apple and enjoys it, so much the better.’”

Gary

 
At 11/15/2011 4:15 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

David Grove said:

"They say altitude is determined by attitude, and that the race is not to the swift, but to those who keep running. Nevertheless, cream doesn't always rise to the top. I mean, I hate to throw cold water on your theory, but you need to think outside the box and remember that full many a flower was born to blush unseen and waste its fragrance on the desert air. I mean, you can keep your nose to the grindstone to spite your face and yet be always the bridesmaid, never the bride. But look on the bright side: a flash in the pan is worth two in the bush."


AGREED! Good advice.

 

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