Monday, January 02, 2006

We Dissect to Give Life

And the suspense is over. Because we have stopped reading this poem. There’s nothing about it in the first lines or the second or the third to gain our confidence that the organizing intelligence behind it is either organized or intelligent.
Joan Houlihan, Three Invitations to a Far Reading

The essay is a welcome dissection of bad poetry. In many ways, such poet manques aspire to be something like Richard Dawkins' blind watchmaker in their unguidedness, but fall short even of the appearance of design which Dawkins admits as an end-result. Their poems are as opaque and inscrutable as any other chaotic impulse. The reasons for their being published are the deepest mysteries whose purposes shall not be revealed until the Apocalypse itself.

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