Thursday, January 10, 2013

QUESTION 2 (and with a follow-up)

So, after archetypes, 1973 asks us:

How much do you feel a poem is bound to a particular place or time?  Are the best poems both referential in their own time and transcendental in time?

With the perhaps expected follow up question:

[W]hat responsibility do you feel personally about writing political poetry, responding to urgent emotions of the time?

Please feel free to give a shot at either or both questions.


At 1/10/2013 9:03 PM, Blogger Michael Odom said...

If you must choose between your life, the times, and the transcendent, your art will fail. Those three are one category of myriad shared instances.

The same answer should serve for both questions.

At 1/10/2013 9:32 PM, Blogger underbelly said...

I welcome all these qualities and find none of them essential.

At 1/11/2013 8:34 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Frictionless transcendence, that's a good one.

At 1/11/2013 8:39 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

That's just the thing of it. These questions, and the rest that are coming were in the air in 1973. It put all these things that are in the air right now (is there anything in the air even?) in perspective.

At 1/11/2013 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not "respond" to "urgent emotions." I let urgent emotions respond to ME.


At 1/11/2013 6:54 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

How much do you feel a poem is bound to a particular place or time? Are the best poems both referential in their own time and transcendental in time?

This is my response to the question posed above:


We live in the fields, like mice,
surrounded by meadows magnetic
and pulsing, a sea of modulated
voices hissing on waves
spread electric and quantum;
fields seen and unseen,
cast wide and imprecise,
the radiated glades
of gravity and time and mass.

In my field are two horses and some herons,
out near the pond by the trees.
Between the trees and the fence
is a small splash of white in the green.
A patch of wild lilies stands alone,
reminds me of those we are missing,
those surrounded by fields
of gravity and time and grass
beneath some flowers and a stone.

Copyright 2008 – Specimens: Selected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald
Copyright 2010 – Ponds and Lawns: New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

At 1/12/2013 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, would you mind not posting your own poems in these comment fields? It's an incredibly annoying form of graffiti.

At 1/12/2013 3:38 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Are they really that bad?


At 1/12/2013 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your problem, Mr. Fitzgerald, is not that your poems are “that bad” but that they are too good! You are embarrassing all the other poets out there. You have no credentials! You are like a free radical that is showing everybody up. Don’t you understand why they all hate you? Shades of John Keats!

A fan.

At 1/13/2013 11:51 AM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Well, I suppose that a poetry blog, ironically enough, is not the best place to reply with poetry. I do want to point out, though, that the poems I posted here are topical and address the questions asked. They may, however, have been over the heads of some.

At 1/13/2013 2:12 PM, Blogger underbelly said...

You don't even have to suppose it's not the best place,Garry. Others have been telling you for years.

At 1/13/2013 5:26 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...


At 1/13/2013 5:31 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

You have a problem with poetry?

Then why are you here?

At 1/14/2013 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, please go away. I mean this in the nicest possible way.

At 1/14/2013 3:17 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I will gladly do this. Would you kindly explain why?

In the nicest possible way, that is.

At 1/14/2013 5:56 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

One has to wonder what the response here would be if one of John’s favorites decided to post a poem, say, John Ashbery, Lyn Hejinian, Rae Armantrout? Would he ask them to “please go away”? They never post here, though, do they? What does that tell us?

I love Bob Dylan and Neil Young, the Beatles, the Stones. But I also love Mozart and Bach. I like many of the new contemporary musicians. There is room in the tent for all.

So why am I the Pariah? Why are my comments rejected? Why is my poetry non grata? How can any poet treat other poets this way? Just because someone doesn’t like their particular style or form or their subject matter? It’s not like American poets are Sunnis and Shiites or even liberals and conservatives. Why can’t we have a little respect for each other as fellow poets or, at least, as human beings with feelings, poetry notwithstanding? Jeez, Louise!

If you don’t like something on a comment stream then just ignore it and scroll past. An insult isn’t really necessary, is it?

At 1/15/2013 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may have noticed, Gary, that a lot of poets do post here, and they all show the common courtesy to refrain from using someone else's blog discussion to post their own work.

You insist that your work is relevant to the discussion. People have been telling you for years they disagree. That's all you need to know. It doesn't matter that you're deaf to the explanations, of which there have been dozens.

John is nicer than most of us. At one point he told you you could post one poem a week, and only on Fridays. I suspect it was a compromise between his desire to keep a hands-off approach, and a desire to keep every discussion from becoming about you.

Rae Ashbery

At 1/15/2013 2:09 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I will comply with the apparently popular request that I “please go away”. Before I go, though, I would just like to say that I believe you have misunderstood my intentions. It was never all about me. I have been posting my poems on blogs in response to posts for over six years. Responding with poetry is an ancient Celtic custom. I have commented with my poems on many subjects on many blogs including Harriet, Silliman’s blog, Mark Doty’s blog, Annie Finch’s blog, Don Share’s blog, Robert Archambeau’s blog, William Michaelian’s blog, the Scarriet blog, etc., etc. Nobody has ever asked me to “please go away”. In fact, I have received many positive responses. A poem is my way of commenting in what I had hoped (poetry wise) was a relevant way. It is, after all, all about poetry in the first place, isn’t it?

You may have been put off by the fact that I always include my copyright and reference my books, but this seemed practical to me considering all the “free information” obtained from the internet.

At any rate, I figured an interesting poem in a comment stream would at least add a little spice to the stew in what is otherwise usually a dry and boring conversation. I’m sorry to have offended. Personally, I enjoy reading other people’s poetry. It is generally much more interesting that other people’s opinions.


At 1/16/2013 6:36 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Poems are very anchored for time and place in that I can usually recall the feeling or inspiration that led to them. The actual content though? No, not especially.

I feel no need to address politics or any kind cultural or emotional zeitgeist. That's not to say it can't or won't happen, but they are hardly goals.


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