Robert Penn Warren, the New Criticism…
boy did that big bird peter out over time eh?
Where is Literary Criticism now?
Such a veer with postmodernity.
Once there were the validated poems
and then the key critics explaining why
and bringing out the fine edges
of just how fine the poems were.
Then everyone could swing their keys
into attempting into that ballpark frame.
Now what is there? A mushroom cloud of
professors opinions flocked to by their own students.
The old guys the old schoolers are practically read in translation.
The contemporary professor is about his students, and politics.
A friend notes:
“Students seem to believe that the site of political struggle
is literally in the minds of their professors.” (Jesse Huisken)

But ultimately, 026
the true seat of struggle
is likely among viruses and living mammals
including us > D.N.A. and its outcomes
“Do we really want to go there?” “Hell no!”
The system resists. Fights back into effective shape
while also being a rock in a stream.


Advanced criticism has had  some impacts over the decades



“close reading” was excellent.
but i always suspected if you did it a lot
like if you were constantly close reading poems
with the whole rotorooter grammar excavation
day after day expanding grammatical information
you would wind up saying many of the same things
before long, until a great wall of irony formed
thickening in the sky like a fibrous cloud
and you’d instinctively just stop, and never
close read another poem again. 029







language writing, with its attempt to have people
simply stop being tricked by standard poetry measures
into some inevitable passive awe, or maniipulated
for an emotional outcome, ‘pushing back’ at the
means by which we’re controlled, mollified, and
put through our drills.

…had its effect, and then turned into nothing.
Seemingly the practitioners who had eschewed
all pre-organized convention in favour of working
outside the system, became professors or remain
interred in the TA divination.

Seems its time has passed. The opacity of a lot
of the actual writing is fast overturned by
the transparency of the outcome, and it reads
like a process of getting a degree now,
with practically no unity in the lives of practitioners.
Very different agendas swimming around
in the tank of language writing’s afterglow.
And language experiments seem quaint –
“Breitbart convinces Trump Obama tapped him”
and at times quaint the way just such items were
in pre language writing era
as if the spell were removed.

Anyway with the internet everyone enters writing
and everyone just behaves as they do.
And it’s writing, behaving, existing, relating,
as a great nihilism comes over the world.


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