Monday, January 16, 2006

The Critical Poetics of a Homonym

Greg Perry says Greg Perry's poetry is quote unquote crap. Well, tell me something I didn't no.

12 comments:

SB said...

Hell, who cares what Greg Perry thinks?

Greg R. Perry said...

You quoted me out of context... I said "...in my philistine perspective, [your] poetry is crap."

So yes, your readers should not care what I think - I've already admitted to not knowing a good piece of poetry if I was hit over the head with it. Since I've already expressed self-denigrating humility, perhaps you should recognize and take this opportunity to educate me. I'll admit to only a simple perusal of your work - perhaps you and/or your readers could point me to examples of excellence. Just please, I beg you, do not submit me to the Clockwork Orange educational method - we all know how that turned out.

My email is posted at my site, or you can post links to where I should go in comments on my original post (hmmm... perhaps I should reword that); or here - I'll check back. Several of the posts in my own blog have pointed to the lack of exposure to the humanities in an engineer's education. To express my sincerity, I offer you title to all the Son Rivers domains that are registered to me.

Greg said...

Hi Greg. Thanks for the clarification. And maybe my readers shouldn't care (thanks Sharon for caring) but I admit I do. Since my target audience happens to be philistines in general, I take such criticism to heart. Moreover, since I take Greg Perry to my very depths, well, you know. But I'll make a deal with you. You tell me why, in your philistine perspective, you think it's crap. And I'll give you some names of poets I don't think are crap.

greg r. perry said...

I don't mind engaging in a dialogue, if you don't mind sporadic responses. The venue is a little difficult, as Blogger doesn't accept trackbacks.

I'll need some time to read more of your work, and I again invite your readers to point me to their favorites. However, I should warn you that I've never been a big fan of free verse. What poetry I have read that I liked tends to be more structured - epics such as Virgil's Aeneid, and Beowulf; Kipling, Frost, Coleridge, Blake and the Bard's sonnets.

I'll admit to mixed feelings, including some appreciation, for Whitman, Sandburg, cummings, and especially Corso, but they're not the sort of thing that I would pick up and read on my own initiative. And since I tend to romanticize the entire idea of poetry, it's hard for me to accept modern technological references. It's possible that I have an ingrained prejudice that you have to be dead to be a good poet, something I wouldn't ask you to aspire to just to please me.

So if my tastes illustrate what was wrong with public school secondary education in the arts back two decades ago, I'm afraid all I can claim is a victim status. If you really want a perspective from my myopic lens, you now have an idea of what you're up against. I've seen many, many links to your sites in search engines, suggesting you have quite an established base of appreciative fans. They might counsel you that you can't, and perhaps shouldn't try, to please everyone.

Greg said...

Ah. A formalist. I've been journeying away from that strict practice this past year, although I remain metrical. But still more blank verse than free. But you should check out poets such as Rhina Espaillat and many more at http://www.thehypertexts.com. Poets like Gwynn, Finch, Stallings. But also check these poets: Warren, Krisak, Crawford. There's a lot there to taste. Some who aren't but are worth a google or two: Timothy Murphy and Alfred Nicol. As for free versers: Gary Snyder and Robert Creeley (and many more) are worth googling too.

greg r. perry said...

What did you expect? I'm an engineer. So I must also make clarifications and question what I don't understand so far. Remember, an engineer only sees a glass that is twice as big as it needs to be.

First off, I really am a "Greg", not a "Gregory." Secondly, I'm not really the dotcom to your dotnet - our other namesake is a real estate agent in Washington state. And third - I don't understand what you mean by "...since I take Greg Perry to my very depths, well, you know." I thought you had repudiated the name, which was the cause for my very first comment on your blog, and the puerile reason I hold a bunch of sonrivers domain names - which really are yours, if you want them. Finally, I stand corrected - I believe I should have used the term "blank verse" when I said "free verse."

I don't know if you have recognized an inability to give coherent literary criticism, whether you modestly await your readers' submittals of their favorites for consideration, or if the invitation to educate a philistine is so exigent; but I see that you have already come up with my reading assignment. Perhaps with some contrasts and comparisons I would be better able to explain why I have found your work... less than compelling.

What really confuses me is that you describe philistines (we really need to come up with some synomyms for that word, but it's just so... juicy) as your target audience, but while going back through your archives, looking to get clubbed, I ran across several posts that indicate you have a keen interest in what you consider to be the travails of your Art - perspectives that would place you on the cutting edge, quite distant from the intended consumer. I particularly liked the one with the Frost inferences, even if I couldn't follow the logic.

greg r. perry said...

Thanks for your consideration
Here are riches to behold
And as a reconciliation
If I may be just as bold

From the Aussie bush sing poets
Some whose words have not reached far
But we hold them dear to our hearts
And now you may see who they are.

A.B. "Banjo" Patterson
The Geebung Polo Club
The Man from Snowy River
Clancy of the Overflow

Dorothea Mackellar
My Country

et al.

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

Er, cummings was more of a formalist than a free-verser, although some of his more experimental poems jumped the track.

Just thought I'd point that out for the philistine.

I've engaged in a bit of ego surfing, too. Greg-of-grapez, you should not be too troubled; one of my namesakes is a convict in Texas with AIDS who, I think, tried to bite or spit on his captors as revenge for his captivity.

Jim Ryals said...

Greg:

You are the only poet I know who had all of his submissions accepted last year.

And won a special award . . .

Mark said...

There is something so utterly I don't know what about this whole debate between Greg Perry and Greg Perry! Only in the digital world. One day you wake up and Greg Perry is telling you your work is crap. Greg (the Greg that I know), I am laughing WITH you here.

Interesting to see how our interior struggles (e.g. within our little world of poetry) are turned on their heads when decontextualized. (For the information of Greg R. Perry, Greg Perry tends to fall on the plain-speech, anti-elitist, formalist half of the dichotomy within the agonistic little world of poetry.) I myself would venture that Greg Perry's work is worthwhile no matter what side of the equation one falls on.

The other Mark Lamoureux on the net is a guy who posts "I-hate-liberals" diatribes on republican chatsites. Fortunately, I don't think that he is aware of my work...

Greg said...

"plain-speech, anti-elitist, formalist half of the dichotomy within the agonistic little world of poetry"
at last, I have a niche! I'm using that underneath my author picture when I publish the great American collected poems. Thanks Mark. I love it!

greg r. perry said...

Hmmm...

Believe it or not, I am glad to see Greg's supporters turning out, although I'm still waiting to be pointed to the readers' favorites that will open my eyes.

I also noticed that there was one comment I made on my site that I didn't reproduce here:

"My less-than-diplomatic post referring to my opinion of my namesake’s poetry caught the attention of the author. His response was brief, but I can’t discern whether it is the brevity of the mildly amused, or of the offended artist.

"So I invited him and his readers to point me in the direction of good samples of his work. He seems quite prolific, so I’m afraid that I’ll be subjected to a Poetry Storm. I’ll read what ever I get, though, and hopefully with the attention that Art deserves. I guess I owe him that for such a callous, off-handed remark. It just goes to show you - be careful what you write on the the Web - anyone can read it!"

Still - I finally noticed that I never formally apologized for the "callous, off-handed remark."

Greg, my sincerest apologies. It would have been more appropriate to to have said something like "not my cup of tea", which, although just as flippant, would not have been so offensive.

I have apparently set foot into a world not my own. Judging from the remarks, perhaps the only way to stop a bunch of poets from squabbling and taking sides is to step in and say "all poetry is crap."

I'm also glad to hear Greg laughing. I think I'd actually have more in common with him than this Greg Perry.

Didn't anyone follow my Banjo links? Would you call him elitist?

Still working through the list Greg gave me.