10.05.2004

More WHeMa notes

From Kathleen Fraser's "Line. On the Line..."

Often, when students are slipping into poetry with the help of a university education, they will be taught the rules of prosody from such expert guides to English verse as John Hollander's brilliantly succinct and witty "rules of thumb," Rhyme's Reason. While Hollander makes it clear that an accomplished mastery of these rules and traditional forms does not a poem make, this point is unfortunately often missed in the classroom.

His own originally composed examples of verse—pure accentual, pure syllabic, free verse of a dazzling variety—are formally impeccable, fun to read, and leave one struck with admiration at the control and mastery so apparent in his rendering. There is no hesitation showing, no evidence of ambivalence, no disturbed stutter of a voice either unable to speak or chaotically pouring forth after being self-edited or deleted over an unbearable length of time.

One experiences Hollander's pleasure in accomplishment, not his resistance to tradition's fond embrace. His guide embodies the authority of historical privilege.


My bolding.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're on to something. What you've emboldened is very much the language of authority & professionalism everywhere. & of course it is as fundamentally false, as much a cover-up as any valedictory...
    My question is, is this sort of talk exclusively heterosexual? I think of Auden... there seems to be a WheMaish tone to much of his poetic... it might be interesting to come up with a list of WheMaish gay (or queer, as you prefer) artists.

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