Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Third Way Poetics"

Michael Theune's critique of "third way poetics" on Mark's blog: http://wallacethinksagain.blogspot.com/


Blogger Jay Thompson said...

Hi Johannes! Saw you read Aase Berg's poems at No Thousands and thought I'd say hello.

What did you think of Theune's article? He's an interesting critic to me-- we were in the same pedagogy forum at AWP, he was totally charming!-- and his own book of criticism, Structure and Surprise, I think sheds some light on his disparagement of Shepherd's anthology. He argued (and this is a horrible, bald paraphrase) that the lyric poem is best read in terms of turns (or rhetorical structure more generally) rather than outer form. The (tiny!) turn from image to skeptical meditation in an Issa haiku is like the (several-line!) turn from image to skeptical meditation in a Petrarch sonnet, and the two poems are best studied together rather than in groups based on outer form. I notice he missed "wit" (and saw a lot of "obliquity") in the poems Shepherd anthologized. The fragmentation and stitching-together of rhetoric in the poems Shepherd favors ("post-language"? "JG Canon"? "Third Way poetics"?) perhaps doesn't allow for wit-- it's hard to be funny if you're critiquing single consciousness or shooting for a certain stitched-up Modernist elegance-- and maybe these poems, too, leave Theune without much to apply his analytical tools to. (Whereas, as he mentions, Chelsey Minnis has a lot to laugh at, while still troubling/disorienting readers.)

Oh and at the urging of someone or other, I read your piece on "What I Learned at Iowa." On the subject of no one reading contemporary foreign poets-- what did you think of New European Poets, the anthology from last year edited by Kevin Prufer and Wayne Miller?


12:55 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

I'll have to check out Theune's book. I didn't know he had one.


5:35 PM  

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