Thursday, September 01, 2005

On Being Charged

One of the letters to the editor posted at the Contemporary Poetry Review by an anonymous reader expresses dismay at Poetry Snark having been a recommended site. We are accused of "hatemongering, misogyny, racism and the like."

I say to this detractor and any others that may share such thoughts that to hate on poetry is not hatemongering. When hate is indeed the expression at hand, then know that there is nothing wrong with hating anything. Like it or not, hate is part of the spectrum of reactions one may experience when confronting any creative work. In poetry, like other arts, hating a work is better than indifference. Whereas a strong feeling like hate may cloud a person's perception, there is a still a level of engagement one is able to employ by which something might be made, improved, dismantled, discredited, et al., indifference generates nothing and leaves vacant the space where conversation, discussion, debate, instruction and other methods of communication may prevail.

Garrick Davis, editor of the CPR, reasonably states he "posted a link to it because "snark" is in short supply in these days of logrolling and sycophancy. I trust that you are not too surprised to find intemperate remarks on a website that clearly labels itself as a clearinghouse for mean-spirited gossip." His posting of our link of course does not designate comradeship or support for our words but he is certainly working in the spirit of engagement rather than indifference or censorship, regardless of what others might think of editors or anonymous writers. It is important to note that while Poetry Snark does enjoy & provide gossip, we do not label ourselves as "a clearinghouse for mean-spirited gossip" but instead hope to carry on some of the snarkier efforts of the old days of the Edinburgh Review but more importantly we are concerned with a lack of venue in which to safely express one's dissatisfaction & disdain with certain poets, books of poetry, poetry venues or anything else poetry.

Our writings are serious but should not be taken as seriously as some of our poor readers seem to do themselves. Humor, for better or worse, is a prevailing factor in our efforts. To be charged with racism is not surprising but one must consider what lurks behind the anonymity. All of us could be Chinese, so our strong statements as found in Poethnic Cleansing II would be self-loathing but hardly racist. I stand by my claim that stereotypes exist for a reason and if a certain ratio of readers continue their misguided political correctness without irony or humor, they will miss much of the point behind any form of satire and complaint.

Thank you to Mr. Davis for his support of poetry and criticism.

Stay tuned as we plan to bring you more snark as we pick up from where we left off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. Welcome Back.

4:29 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger Alan Cordle said...

It's not racism -- you're clearly ageists, what with the lost poets and all. ;)

I think snarking, real (not gushing) criticism (as demanded recently in the pagesPoetry), and exposure of foetics is making poets like CPR's Anonymous Whiner spin in their living graves.

It's clear they are unused to being anything but gods. It's pleasing to see them called out for their crap writing, bad readings, pimping, ho-ing, etc. But mostly, it's nice to see the Snark coming back for more honesty.

4:46 PM, September 05, 2005  
Anonymous paige morgan said...

Also, per theatre critic Annie Wagner:
Hater is an anagram for heart—one is necessarily contained within the other.

12:53 PM, September 07, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pretty site! Keep working. thnx!

4:07 AM, June 08, 2006  

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