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A Morning Chuckle

This morning I had a good chuckle.  In "THE ARTS" section of today's N.Y. Times, I encountered an article on the sale of the archive of The New York Review of Books to the New York Public Library. The Library praised the acquired material as "unique evidence of intellectual life in the United States in the second half of the 20th Century."

How does this quotation relate to poetry and poetics, the subjects of these blog entries?  After all, Jose Garcia Villa, in my recently published book "Poetry is," states that: "The arts do not require intellect but simply intelligence.  To be intelligent is to proceed rightly by innate perception, by intuitive sense." Thus, to write poetry (i.e., poems), say when a poet chooses a particular combination of words because they make a better poetic effect, that makes poetic sense but he is not thinking in the true sense of the term.

On the other hand, when a poet develops an organized and stuctured theory of poetry, as did Villa, the only one in existence, a strong intellectual faculty is required.  As Villa said:  "To be intellectual . . . is to proced by cultivated reasoning. . . .  To be intelligent is to know, but to be intellectual is to know why."

So, when I ask how the above quotation relates to poety and poetics, the answer is that Villa's theory of poetry (his poetics) is, with the archive of The New York Review of Books, "unique evidence of intellectual life in the United States in the second half of the 20th Century,"  It is "unique" in that, notwithstanding all the academic (but not popular) attention to poetry in that period of time, there is very little evidence of any intellectual life devoted to poetics during that span of time.  Instead, academic after academic across the entire United States has ignored entirely any inquiry into what makes for poems as high art and why this era of self-expression, confessional poetry and free verse (which not only is not poetry, but not art, and not even verse) has been destroying the very foundations of what made poetry a high art in the first place, with the consequence that poetry is all but dead as a literary art in this day and age.

But now, at last, a light at the end of the tunnel: On September 1, 2015, there was published a book to remind readers what has been lost over the last 65 years.  That book is "Poetry is," and it is now available for purchase (on this website among other sources) and is a beacon of light illuminating the path to redemption in terms of rejuvenating the art of lyric poetry of formal excellence and restoring it to its rightful place at the top of the pantheon of American literature where it stood before the beat poets, didactic poets and other non-poets misled the academics into thinking that what they were writing and advocating was true poetry.

Vocation: Wall Street Trial Lawyer (Retired)
Avocation: Poetry and Poetics
Studied poetry with Jose Garcia Villa 1970-1997
Writer and Publisher of Poetry


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Guest Tuesday, 23 January 2018