Friday, November 04, 2005

Chameleon in the Blogosphere

I just can’t keep up with all the arguments on poetics. Have you checked out the “three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system” of poetics being discussed—and very perceptively, e.g., by Robert (no relation)—on various blogs? The three axes, by the way, are “tradition/innovation,” “self/community,” and, uh, “polemical/nonpolemical,” or something like that.

I find these arguments very interesting, but (interestingly) I can’t get very interested in taking a position. Perhaps this only proves I’m at the extreme of the nonpolemical axis. It does occur to me that a better name for that axis might be “negative capability/positive capability.” Maybe I’m just weak when it comes to standing up for my convictions, but I’d rather think I’m like Keats’ “chameleon poet,” as he said in one of his letters:

What shocks the virtuous philosopher, delights the chameleon Poet. . . . The Sun, the Moon, the Sea and Men and Women who are creatures of impulse are poetical and have about them an unchangeable attribute – the poet has none; no identity – he is certainly the most unpoetical of all God’s Creatures. . . . It is a wretched thing to confess; but is a very fact hat not one word I ever utter can be taken for granted as an opinion growing out of my identical nature – how can it, when I have no nature?


Beverly said...

Are poets now the equivalent of the court jester? I'm not sure what this has to do with your post, Robert, but I think it does somehow.

Robert said...

Hey, are you calling me a clown?

Beverly said...

Great Hallowen costume and photo, Robert!

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