Thursday, August 03, 2006

Not so...

After reading the Bill Knott interview that Eduardo sent me to, I can hardly complain. I just wanted to update: I did not get the Perfect Job, but will start in again on a contract job on Monday.

No news on the manuscript or article.

Weather here sunny and in the low 70s. I wrote a bit (revised). I may do some gardening. Dog is with John. I may take myself for a walk.


Robert said...

Interesting interview! Apart from Knott's insistence on his being a failure, I was interested in what he says about a poet's persona: "One must create an established coherent poetic personality to be successful. And one must stick to that chosen persona or edifice. I don’t see Larkin ever deviating from his. As you read his Collected [Poems] you never suddenly find him trying to write something like [Ted] Hughes’ 'Crow.'" I don't 100% agree with this, but I do think the current fashion is to go too far in the opposite direction, to insist that true artists must continually change their style, rather than stick to one.

Diane K. Martin said...

Yes, I noted that too. I was also interested in his statement that "all successful poets have a template poem." Uh, sure. I won't argue.

Beverly said...

It depends on what you mean (i.e., he means) by "create...a poetic personality." I think that's a misleading way to express it unless he means something not entirely conscious. Otherwise it's likely to have a note of falseness to it.

Regarding change: I don't see why either view is "correct," i.e., either a "chosen edifice," the dependable template, or continual change. Some are drawn to one, some the other, depending on one's need for continual change to keep re-invigorating the work.

Robert said...

The funny thing is that I think Knott has created a "coherent poetic personality," sort of The Eccentric Curmudgeon. But on a more serious level, I think he'd have to be considered a successful poet even in his own terms. Over the past 30+ years I've heard so many people say something like, "Hey, have you ever heard of a poet named Bill Knott? I just discovered him but I guess he's been around for a while. He's amazing." So many people, to take just one example, have been struck by and never forgotten his little "Poem":

The wind blows a piece of paper to my feet.
I pick it up.
It is not a petition for my death.