7/19/2006
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How often is the dedication of a poem ironic, as in saying, "for Mr. X," when in fact the poem rebukes something held by this Mr. X?

This question is complicated in at least two ways. The first problem is that poems don't always operate according to the rhetorical rules for taking positions, arguing with others, etc. This undermines my initial assumption that a poem could "rebuke" the position of Mr. X. The second problem is that it's not always clear what Mr. X represents for the poem. Mr. X could have said many things worth rebuking, but the poem is under no obligation to clarify the specific dispute. I.e., "This is not a curriculum."

To make matters more complicated, what I am talking about here is not a poem per se but a poetics statement, which typically entails more in the way of rhetorical assertion, hence clarifying the matters above, though not always, which can lead to further complications.

It would all be much easier, then, if I had a machine for transporting me through time, or at least a slip of paper with this poet's telephone number.

Comments on ""

 

Blogger tmorange said ... (10:01 AM) : 

all of spicer's book of magazine verse...

t.

 

Blogger -k said ... (10:05 AM) : 

and more recently CB's "A Defense of Poetry"...

 

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