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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’.

1 comment:

Mark Granier said...

Good god, what a load of woffle. Quoting Kinsella's lines “Ghosts fuck with my head / like clichés”, the reviewer seems to think that the expletive (coming in too early) is the only thing wrong with the phrase. I'd say it is more likely the only thing right with it.