Since Alan Cordle’s Foetry.com got major media attention and made Foetry a household word, a quiet revolution has taken place. Publishing and prizes are no longer assumed to be pure. The ‘Cred Game’ has been exposed.
Here’s a random example from the world of poetry bloggers: http://irasciblepoet.blogspot.com/2007/09/what-makes-me-want-to-vomit.html
From the list of 10 things that makes this poetry blogger “want to vomit:”
Vomit #4: I want to vomit when presses that are vanity exercises continue to publish their friends and exclude new voices.
We think it’s wonderful, thanks to Alan Cordle, that new understanding and outrage exists, but further education is needed.
What made Alan Cordle so dangerous and hated, was that he named names. He was not content to just bellyache. Foetry.com named, and brought low, big names, because, as more and more realize today, “vanity” in po-biz goes all the way to the top.
Big names intimidate, allowing foetic practice to continue where ‘the gods’ play.
But not everyone is intimidated by big names. And the word is getting out that Foetry did not begin with Jorie Graham. The word is getting out that many of the icons of Modernism–which so many people worship because they learned about them in school–were foetic frauds.
It takes critical acumen to detect foetry in history, foetry in the canon, and foetry in contemporary big names.
This is what Scarriet is here for.
All that juicy and critically acute stuff.
The poetry blog which I quoted at random is called ‘The Irascible Poet,” with the following quote on its masthead:
“I Have Never Met a Poet Worth A Damn that was Not Irascible” —Ezra Pound
Here’s what we mean by education. Our blogger needs to be educated. The foetic Modernists really brought very little new to the table that was not merely crackpot. We really hate to keep going back to Poe, and making this an issue of Pound v. Poe, but this did fall into our lap.
Before Pound recommended “the irascible poet,” Poe wrote the following:
That poets, including artists in general, are a genus irritable is well understood, but the why seems not to be commonly seen. An artist is an artist only by dint of his exquisite sense of Beauty – a sense affording him rapturous enjoyment, but at the same time implying, or involving, an equally exquisite sense of Deformity or disproportion. Thus a wrong – an injustice – done a poet who is really a poet, excites him to a degree which, to ordinary apprehension, appears disproportionate with the wrong. Poets see injustice – never where it does not exist – but very often where the unpoetic see no injustice whatever. Thus the poetical irritability has no reference to “temper” in the vulgar sense, but merely to a more than usual clear-sightedness in respect to Wrong, this clearsightedness being nothing more than a corollary from the vivid perception of Right, of justice, of proportion. But one thing is clear -–that the man who is not “irritable” is no poet.
This is from Poe’s Marginalia. Is it not a rapturous paean against foetry? And as we close this post, let us quote Poe again from his Marginalia, and this, too, could be a pledge against all foetic affliction.
Take heart, my friends!
Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path. I shall be a litterateur, at least, all my life; nor would I abandon the hopes which still lead me on for all the gold in California. Talking of gold, and of the temptations at present held out to “poor-devil authors,” did it ever strike you that all which is really valuable to a man of letters, to a poet especially, is absolutely unpurchaseable? Love, fame, the dominion of intellect, the consciousness of power, the thrilling sense of beauty, the free air of Heaven, exercise of body and mind, with the physical and moral health which result, these and such as these are really all that a poet cares for. Then answer me this: why should he go to California?