Sunday, November 20, 2005

Advice to Newbies

So obviously I've not been posting. I hope to rediscover the great and true heart of Poetry Snark again soon. Right now, I'm not feeling the love. And what about my fellow posters? Where are your lazy asses? Ginger? Trochee?

This post is for people who have heard of Poetry Snark and are wondering what the fuss is about. We have nothing to offer but what the name of our site suggests. Check out the list of "poets snarked" on the left sidebar.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...the list of "poet's skarked" on the left sidebar."

It looks like you can offer poor spelling and inappropriate apostrophes more than you can offer good snark.

10:04 AM, November 21, 2005  
Blogger the blood monk said...

kiss me for I have sinned

12:03 AM, November 25, 2005  
Blogger CLAY BANES said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:15 AM, November 25, 2005  
Blogger CLAY BANES said...

Baby Please Don't Go

This site needs a shot of rhythm and blues.

If I see one, I'll call you.

12:16 AM, November 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great shame, if you decide not to continue. Only just discovered this treasure trove. If only it could include poets not so specific to the US (I understand why it is restricted, of course).

1:51 AM, November 28, 2005  
Blogger puthwuth said...

My site has snark. Check it out!

4:43 AM, November 28, 2005  
Anonymous Lukecubed said...

My 2 cents: what you guys need to do is both take aim at some bigger targets than forgotten 70's poets and the modern "foets" whose reputations as true artists get less secure everyday. Why not try taking on some of this academic bullshit on its own terms? Let your readers know you have some authority and you're not just whining about things you don't understand. For example, go after someone like Berryman, who has a wretchedly overinflated reputation over the last 50 years of American poetry. And don't just snark his work or Mr. Bones or the general tenor of his oeuvre - snark the specific techniques, and JUST as importantly, the critics and other poets who have helped to edify his reputation as a "master." If you like this guy, sorry. He was the first and best example of a highly overrated "major" poet I could think of, but you could do just as well with Bly or Harjo or Silliman or what have you. But random and generalized snarks about irrelivancies like Rosie O'Donnel or first-book poets doomed to swift irrelivancy do little to address the problem you seem most concerned with - declining standards of quality in modern poetry, which have been declining for at least 50 years. If you want to burn down the edifice than attack the edifice, not it's distant waving tentacles. Address the cause, not the symptoms. I like this site and its stated goal, and I believe in the idea of doing it anonymously, but a little more conscious effort will make you more credible even as it opens you up to new attacks.

3:58 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Adam Hardin said...

I will take your challenge luke.

Theory: The secret is that there is no such thing.

Each poem and each novel is its own theory. Poema and novels have to justify themselves to each reader.

Lit Crits never wrote a god damn book in their life so why would you listen to them?

Theory is dead. Theory is for third rate writers who need a crux for their work or need a jsutification for its brilliance when every reader turns it down.

8:43 PM, December 03, 2005  
Blogger steve barron said...

something to tide you over while poetry snark's on hiatus:

mallie on "silliman's blurbocaust"

10:33 PM, December 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something to consider: the frequency with which the word "snark" is used on this site... it's gimmicky, & anyways non-original. If one is to complain about crappy, unoriginal poets--say, "up & comers of the 70s" or whatever--one might do better than to emulate them.

10:30 AM, December 05, 2005  
Anonymous Lukecubed said...

Interesting points, all, adam.

Your contention that "each poem and novel is its own theory" is pretty close to the truth, I suspect. I have tried to argue sentiments close to it in the past.

However, I take issue with the idea of wholly disregarding or writing off theory and criticism. At worst, yes, they become deified and inevitably outmoded fantasies that oversimplify and harrangue in the manner of politicians. However, at best - and by "best" I do not mean "theories with which I agree" but "theories that are coherent, well-stated, and open-minded about alternatives," theory keeps artists honest and their perspective fresh. They give you a good sense of who has said/done what when and how, something essential for any serious artist to know. Even when we disagree wholeheartedly with them they give us issues worth thinking about and force us to consider our own views all the more. This attitude that we can entirely dispense with the theoretical side of things is something I have found more and more prevalent these days and in the end I find it troubling as well. It leaves the artist in a position tantamount to the Emperor with no clothes, and oftentimes I find it is largely an attempt to justify intellectual or creative laziness.

My problems with theory have more to do with how they are stated and the sweeping conclusions they sometimes draw than anything else. For instance, I rather like reading the theoritical/crit papers put out by LangPo poets, I find they give me alot of ideas worth considering. My issues with those same pieces tend to come when the author states that poetry operating apart - or with skepticism of - these theories is not as good, less creative, less original, less important. Perhaps we need a reevaluation of theory - a way of using it as a tool for understanding (the way music theory is often used) rather than a political tool used to ascribe nonexistant categories of good and bad.

But even this is a slippery slope. Our attraction to theory stems, I suspect, from our inborn sense that there is quality (and lack of quality) and that we can somehow explain this. Perhaps we can't. But when we get into the postmodern idea that everything is relative and if you don't like something you're judging it wrong we risk valuing "I think that I shall never see..." right alongside Auden and Shakespeare, and we undermine the very point of this site. If there's no theory, than there's no weight behind any snark, no matter how witty and accurate it may seem. Theory does need to be challenged and reevaluated, and a good deal of 20th century criticism will, when the hooplah dies down, be seen as long-winded attempts to justify preference and ignorance. But as long as there are artists doing there will be those who think about how and why they make their choices and what those choices come to represent, and I don't think that's a bad, wasteful, or dangerous activity.

2:52 PM, December 07, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

slippery slope is always a fallacy (sp?).

theory is relative and expendable.

6:47 PM, December 07, 2005  
Blogger Pris said...

going to add you to my links.

4:36 PM, December 08, 2005  
Blogger Behrle, Prince of Trolls said...

DID YOU GUYS DIE?? WTF?? You can't post once a month? You ran out of poets to make fun of???


8:05 PM, December 27, 2005  
Blogger Joanna said...

totally so cool my magazine open city just published a poem that's a pantoum consisiting of lines from several of the stories. it's awesome. check it out. it's not online anywhere at all but thought you should know way ahead of time. soon it will be here at and also it's january and cold and the days are only getting longer. forgive the snark for laziness, for where he is it's all the more icy and windy than where you are.

10:09 PM, January 06, 2006  
Anonymous Lukecubed said...

So... what? The second you people get an audience you realized you don't have anything meaningful to say? Not posting for 2 months is begging to be snarked, c'mon.

10:17 AM, January 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with your site, very nice graphics!

4:07 AM, June 08, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home