Tuesday, January 27, 2009

News at Eleven: But despite these antagonisms and differences,

academia is vital to poetry. The very traditions and canons that many poets draw on for inspiration and legitimacy were formed by university syllabuses and scholarly editions; the rescue of forgotten figures, and the gradual downgrading of once major poets, combine to alter the contemporary landscape as well as that of the past. And graduate readers still make up an influential segment of the audience for literary work.

from The Guardian: Books Blog: Why poetry needs a professor
also The Guardian: Oxford hunts for new professor of poetry

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1 comment :

Terreson said...

Rubbish. I know of no instance when poetry has stood in need of professors. Archilochus didn't need a professor in order to invent the iambus. The Goliards didn't need professors in order to give Latin one last late lyrical flowering. Petrarch didn't need a professor in order to make classic the sonnet form. Arnaud Daniel did not need a professor in order to invent the sestina. Fast forward and Walt Whitman did not need a professor in order to invent vers libres and Baudelaire did not need the same in order to make classic the prose poem. Oh. And Emily Dickinson did not need a professor in order to introduce the hymnal measure into poetry. Quite the contrary could be argued. Professors need poets in a way similar to how a cart needs a horse. I agree with Williams when he said it was a bad day when Eliot handed poetry back over to the Academy.

Terreson