Thursday, June 05, 2003

I guess the HiH honeymoon's over.

If a social poet is "One who makes an art that transcends or destroys the division between populism and elitism," then I'm even more convinced that there is no such thing as a social poet, at least in the 20th century. (Spicer: "No one listens to poetry.") Poetry at least since modernism seems predicated on a struggle with its own marginalization in the culture; in modernism, this emerges as a critique of mass culture and an attempt to reorder that culture through poetic forms, while in postmodernism poetry's "elitism" has really been superseded by its irrelevance, so that it's perhaps better thought of as a coterie or subcultural practice.

Even Yeats--the only 20th-c poet I can think of who might fit David's definition of social--relies not so much on abolishing populism vs. elitism but on tacking between the two of them, employing them both as modes, but with each always maintaing an awareness of the other.

Maybe I'm just grouchy. I'm still glad David's back.

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