Saturday, March 6, 2010

Poetry Magazine: Letter to the Editor

Why doesn't Poetry Ireland Review publish Letters to the Editor? Even if it did I doubt it would publish one as good as this one.

This is in the current issue of Poetry Magazine (USA) and is written in response to an article in a previous issue by Carmine Starnino entitled Lazy Bastardism: A Notebook subtitled Boredom is the highest state of creativity.

Dear Editor,

Carmine Starnino seems to be in agreement with Geoffrey Hill’s famous assertion that “public toilets have a duty to be accessible, poetry does not.” I find that a terribly unfortunate attitude. I wouldn’t blame the poets, however, for the lowly state in which poetry finds itself, as Starnino claims we readers do. Poets simply write poetry.
Determining what the public reads and does not read is the job of the editor—a job that is, nowadays, generally done poorly, even at this venerable publication. I now read only the “Comment” section, relieving myself of the duty (Hill might appreciate that phrasing) of having to suffer through the actual poetry.

Jerry Payne


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