Saturday, July 03, 2004


Hey I got a mention in this online journal The New Compass: A Critical Review in an article, “Winters on the Web,” by a tendentious critic, John Baxter, whose brain stopped functioning upon reading a word-burp in a posting I wrote on Yvor Winters.
What Perry likes is the nature poetry, and in the entry for March 6, 2004, he offers a particularly subtle and acute reading of the poem, “On Rereading a Passage from John Muir.” The entry for March 1, 2004, does less well by “John Day, Frontiersman,” and it opens with objections to poems that are “over-rational.” He may mean “overly-rational,” but who knows? There are perils in writing for the net without the safety net of a copyeditor. But even if he did mean that, what would that mean?
Well, yes, John, I guess I did mean “overly-rational,” you old supersonic self-instructed tweed. But as for what I meant, you really should have your attention span checked because later on in that same short post I wrote:
It might be a problem I have with much formal poetry. I sometimes think that meter for many is more than a means with which to paint the world. It becomes a metaphor as well. Robert Frost called poetry a “momentary stay against confusion”. But it is one thing to use our reason to try to make order in the world; it is entirely another to insist that order is anything but man-made.
Now that’s certainly an arguable thesis John, but I believe it explains the over-rational, I mean overly-rational, remark. But then again you formal literary critics seem to have some difficulty when presented with, what for you, I guess, is, the equivalent of bathroom humor (tee-hee, he defecated “over-rational.”) No wonder so many scorn you formalists. Oh wait! Did I say supersonic self-instructed tweed in a previous paragraph. Oops my bad. I meant supercilious self-important twit. (See in this web, bees aren’t just scientific curiosities: they sting too.)

Just having fun with you Mr. Baxter: thanks for the mention.

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