RESTRICTED: SOME LANGUAGE
after Padgett Powell
Are the best poems questions or answers?
Can poetry be taught? Who should teach it?
What is the point of that poem about
Plums? If I were to write, for example,
‘Deep in the forest the fern fronds unfurl’,
Would you find it outdated, poetic,
Or plain weird? Is poetry outdated?
What does a poet look like exactly?
Do you think there is sufficient order
In the world to justify perfect rhyme?
What level of disorder, in your view,
Would justify free verse? Do you believe,
As some do, that poets ‘feel’ more
Than the average human being? Well?
Are the best poems answers or questions?
Nobody should experience anything they don’t need to, if they don’t need poetry bully for them. I like the movies too. And after all, only Whitman and Crane and Williams, of the American poets, are better than the movies.
Frank O’Hara, ‘Personism: A Manifesto’, in Selected Poems (Carcanet)