Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kostelanetz on Poetry

Serpent Swallowing Tail

In Dichtung Yammer for an "Exchange with Richard Kostelanetz on His Poetry" (May 4, 2018), Thomas Fink asks Kostelanetz, "Why might one call your poetry 'poetry'"? Kostelanetz replies:
"What else to call such inventions with words when no other category is more appropriate, though from time to time I've heard the dismissive 'not poetry,' which I don't mind as much as others might, since I appreciate the distinguished tradition of work dismissed as 'not art' in the 20th century. 'Word games,' I've been told, though from time to time I've argued as a critic that some so-called word games, such as palindromes or tongue-twisters, represent inventive High Folk Poetry that is esthetically formalist because of its compositional rules. I suppose some of the more challenging crossword puzzles would count as well, though I don't do crossword puzzles or play Scrabble, among other popular recreations with words. (My mother was an ace at the word game called Anagrams, which she said she never lost. I know I never beat her.)"
I think that this explains why Kostelanetz nominated my One Line Poems for a Pushcart Prize. I was playing with format and meaning, and he noticed. If only my poems had won a Pushcart Prize, I'd be more generally noticed, and my writing would begin to be read, but such thoughts lead to a "what-if" game that has no end . . .



At 4:08 PM, Blogger Happuch said...

What ifs are good as long as they don't go too far and make us stick to the way we think right, or things we believe in. Kostenlanetz must have seen your one-line poems as worth of the prize and I'm glad for you.

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Happuch!

Jeffery Hodges

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