Thursday, December 11, 2008
Poetry and Ideology
John Kinsella on one third of perhaps the single greatest poem ever written: ‘I do not like Dante’s Inferno’:
I do not like his judgments nor punishments. Its grotesqueries are not adequately deconstructive in terms of the self, and Virgil seems too relieved that this, at least, is not his lot. It’s a smug work. For me, hell is what we live with, and each of these grotesqueries, as maybe Dante would agree, lives with us here and now.
This in the context of his new book Divine Comedy, hailed as a ‘distraction’ on Dante’s text.
And speaking of Dante, what a fine poem in the New Yorker the other week on the Tuscan’s terza rima by someone ‘I’ve never – not once in over 40 years – been able to finish a poem by (...) without nodding off’.