Thursday, September 13, 2007

Robert Peake posted an interesting response to Dana Gioia's 1991 Atlantic Monthly article, "Can Poetry Matter?" I'm sure it would have rated some coverage in my essay published last year in the Rock Salt Plum Review on responses to Gioia's essay over the previous 15 years. Fundamentally, Peake argues that Gioia failed to take into account how the rise of new medias fractured cultural attention and lead to poetry's relegation to the sociocultural back burner of academia: that poetry is not alone in this subculturation: other traditional fine arts, notably "classical" art music, have undergone very similar changes. That while Gioia blames academia for fostering a cushy inbred elite (obviously not a healthy thing for any art), Peake argues that academia, like it or not, is poetry's last bastion: poetry's retreat there he likens to sap going back to the tree trunk as it weathers a seemingly endless cultural winter. All these are valid points, and Peake puts them extremely well. I also think they are all the more evident in 2007 than they were even in 1991, with the rise of the Net and its ever-expanding cyber universe, that mind-boggling array of ever-more sophisticated sources of distraction.

I've added three poems by the way to Sky of Ink -- poems recently published in The Antigonish Review, Saranac Review and Carve.


Andrew Shields said...

Poetry as glass bead game?

Brian Campbell said...

Yes, but with imitation glass beads!

Anonymous said...

Die Plexiglasperlenspiel!