Travis Nichols' Guidelines for Amber Tamblyn

Trav,
As promised, here’s THE GUIDE for Prestigious Poetry Blog Do’s and Don’t’s for Amber Tamblyn. Don’t tell her
it’s from me.

Tom

~

AMBER:

Take what I’m telling you really seriously. So when commenting on poets and their poems, these Poets or Critics are on the Untouchable List—Always Be Nice To Them!

UNTOUCHABLE

O’Hara,
Ammons,
Yeats,
Jeffers,
M. Moore,
WC Williams,
Whitman,
Bishop,
Rimbaud,
Rilke,
Rosanna Warren
Wright (any of them)
Young (any of them)
Hart Crane,
Basil Bunting,
Oppen,
Olson,
Creeley,
Paul Muldoon
Merwin,
Pessoa,
Pinsky,
Gluck,
Sappho,
Haas,
Oliver,
Jorie Graham,
Vendler,
Perloff

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many Other Poets OR Editors, Administrators, Moderators, etc—Many Not Well Known—are on The Untouchable List. Check FIRST. NEVER give your gut opinion when you see a poem or comment by a person on this list, EVER.

NEXT LIST. The following Poets/Critics are on the Maybe List—you may, occasionally, make a slighting remark on these poets or their poems. They are either dead, iconic in a kind of dead white male kind of way, or have serious character flaws, so it’s usually safe, on rare occasions, just so you don’t look too Pollyanna, to voice displeasure on these in a gentle manner.

MAYBE

Pound,
Ginsberg,
Frost,
Ashbery,
T.S. Eliot,
W.H. Auden,
Coleridge,
Wordsworth,
Shakespeare,
Richard Wilbur,
Larkin,
Tennyson,
Longfellow,
Sexton,
Harold Bloom,
Andrew Motion

EXCEPTION: If these poets, or their poems, are presented in a positive light for your consideration by a person on the UNTOUCHABLE LIST, show them reverence on that occasion.

NEXT LIST. Then, we have the poets/critics who are fair game. Have at them. Say anything you want about these guys. Ridicule, be condescending, with impunity. It will even advance your standing in the hipster & scholar class.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Billy Collins,
Byron,
Shelley,
Poe,
Plath,
Keats,
Millay,
Service
Kipling
William Logan

I’ll give you one more list, as a bonus. Don’t comment on these at all; whether you praise or censure these guys, you will just seem pretentious. This is a large list–if a poet is dead, and you are not sure about them, assume they are on this list.

PASS BY IN SILENCE

Goethe
Ovid
Pope
Spenser
Horace
Catullus
Homer
Milton
Virgil
Dante
Heine
Ransom
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Any of the New Critics
Obscure Elizabethans
Obscure Romantics
Middle English
Latin,
Greek,
foreign languages in general

If you get confused about any of this just SMS me — just the name and I’ll say yes or no. Oh, and don’t tell David.

Travis