The above is excerpted from William Carlos Williams’s poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower.” The poem in its entirety is also great, I encourage you to read it. I only shared this passage from it because it is also the passage that Dana Gioia cites in her essay on poetry, “Can Poetry Matter?” written in 1992. It’s a great essay to read for those who are concerned with poetry– both writing and reading it. Even those who aren’t, actually. It was a bit of a downer for me, since it talks about contemporary poetry in America and how it has essentially become an enclosed community of ass-kissing colleagues. Doesn’t help much that I think it reflects the state of Philippine poetry with shocking precision–I suppose poets are the same all over?
Gioia does end on a positive note, though, and her suggestions for the restoration of poetry to public culture are solid and encouraging. I won’t list them down or anything. If you’d like to read it (and I encourage you to), heres a link: Can Poetry Matter?
I do think I will start a poem of the week sort of thing. Thanks, Gioia, you definitely roused my heart.
Do read the poem, by the way. :)