Thursday, October 15, 2020

On Good Reviews and Heartfelt Thanks

I recently wrote to a historian friend to thank him for his suggestions on a few poems among those published:

By the way, the poems you helped me with - a sonnet with "roost" and a rhymed poem "Visitations" ("horse's mouth") - and some other poems along with those, were published in August in the eighth of Carter Kaplan's Emanations anthology series (Octo-Emanations). Here's a brief line on my poems from a review of the entire anthology:

The verse and poetry section is always a little of everything. Horace Jeffery Hodges' three sonnets open the section, "The Hearing Ear," and they are very clever and well done.

I pasted my reaction, plus some words of irony, to that review:

Nice to hear, even if only a line. Not many people read poems, I guess. Poetry is the old maid of literature. An embarrassment allotted a back room upstairs. You have to take care of her because she's family, but you hope she'll stay put and not come out of her room to attempt conversation with all the married folk.

My historian friend replied strictly to the positive words of praise, though adding a hopeful reading of the virus quarantine:

Congratulations on the review. One good line is worth an infinite number of mediocre ones, in reviews as well as in poetry. Perhaps Covid will inspire more people to write poetry, to fill the time if for no better reason. And those who write it might read it, which would make them different from many historians.

He's right, I think, about the worth of one good line of a review as well as one good line of poetry, but I am skeptical that people will write and read more poetry during this Covid-19 era. My friend's likely also skeptical, but couldn't pass up the chance to needle fellow historians, and maybe humanities scholars in general. So many scholarly works in print, so few scholars reading them.

Where's the poetic justice in all this?


At 3:00 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

If there was poetic justice for poets then there would be no poetry.

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Was it Dylan who said, "Behind every beautiful thing, there's been some kind of pain."

As for your link, Michael looks to be coming out ahead.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:52 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The Archangel, I mean.

Jeffery Hodges

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