"NEVER WRITE A BOOK ABOUT A POET IF YOU WANT TO SELL BOOKS" - Blog

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"NEVER WRITE A BOOK ABOUT A POET IF YOU WANT TO SELL BOOKS"

Having already violated this injunction by C. David Heymann, the biographer who wrote books about Ezra Pound, James Russell, Amy Lowell and Robert Lowell, and whose obituary appears in today’s New York Times, what’s a fellow to do? Heymann’s solution, it would appear, was to turn to biographies of the rich and famous, much more remunerative to be sure. Does this have any echoes in what has happened to the publishing of poetry and poetics?  As one well-known publisher told me, my book “is a very hard book for us to publish.”  My response was:  “Tell me something I don't know!"

 

Well-meaning persons have advised me to “Follow the money.”  Being retired and not worried about supporting myself for my remaining years, and frankly disgusted about the prices being paid for “great icons” of pop art that have been selling at record prices in recent days at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury & Company, I prefer to soldier on in my journey to attempt to restore lyric poetry of formal excellence to its former status as a high literary art in America notwithstanding  such poetry's huge decline since the 1950s.  In part, this stance springs from the advice of other well-meaning persons, including my muse, who advised that my “stance is provocative and respondents who indulge in narcissism while insisting their words worthy will be scoffed at by future generations.”   I am not generally a man of faith, preferring logic, but in this case faith sustains me in my mission.

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

Comments

  • Guest
    mermaid Tuesday, 01 October 2013

    Feel utterly sad about what the publisher told the blogger, whose intention of publishing has nothing to do with money but something of a master's lifelong dedication. Why couldn't that go published? Does it mean that the publisher's eye has been vulgarized with the market parameter? Greatly sad about that.
    Good luck with you!

  • Guest
    D. Diehl Wednesday, 27 January 2016

    Delighted to have finally been made aware of this website. Thank you for your devotion to restoring poetry to its rightful place in the world of high art.
    with Love and great admiration,
    Your classmate, Donna

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Guest Wednesday, 20 September 2017