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You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence

Started by droqen, April 27, 2023, 08:42:40 AM

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Regarding Donato Mancini's
"You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence"


QuoteThe Tradition

. . . the often-seen rule of incremental change, after T.S. Eliot. Contemporary poets' relationship to Tradition, the rule says, is one of obsequious yet competitive conformism. Literary change unfolds like evolution in nature, not as something the poet should, or actually can, consciously work for.

I've been enjoying this book, on and off. Some things I agree with and other times I feel I disagree with the author but agree with the alternative perspective which they are responding to. It's nice, because either way I'm exposed to a good new viewpoint.

In this case: Mancini has throughout discussed the 'plurality' of voices, and the valuing of them as a plurality. Here he appears to be countering the idea of a singular tradition, but also the idea of imagelessness:


. . . the rule of incremental change is challenged by the facts of literary history . . . famous works by the venerable Old Masters . . . were often unpredictable breakaways. . .

But this is hindsight, storytelling. Of course we focus on, talk about, incremental change as a series of breakaways. But as an artist I feel that my approach to change in my art form is exactly what Mancini seems to dismiss:

I should, and actually can, not consciously work for it.