Disruptive Juxtaposition

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Not enough Yankee.

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English

30% Yankee

10% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

In the news

David Orr has snarky but I think true things to say about American poetry via Jorie Graham in this morning's New York Times. Among the quotables:

"The point isn't that Graham's a bad poet - she's not - but rather that the fogginess that has been a chronic problem in her work becomes especially inhibiting in ''Overlord'' because, well, there's just no leeway for muddling. Graham is trying to write here in response to actual events in a full lyric voice and in a public manner. It's a worthy project. But this isn't the kind of challenge that can be bowled over with rhetoric, analyzed into submission or conquered with good intentions".

I don't think that this means Graham is less deserving of the canon's rubber-stamp, if rubber-stamped indeed she is, but rather that Graham's primary MO isn't suited to the subjects she's trying to tackle in this new collection. And by extension, that certain voices just can't match certain subjects. Orr's onto something when he points out Graham's cringing attempts at confrontation with contemporary times.