Monday, April 15, 2013

Christian Wiman on poets who review

I'm not at all sure what causes or enables some poets to persist. ... Less generous motives are not difficult to imagine. it's easier to make a name for oneself as a reviewer than as a poet, though anyone who would value this lesser recognition is probably not a real poet anyway. Then, too, there are always those who are keen on accumulation "power" in the poetry world, and reviewing may be just one more means of doing so. One hardly knows what to say about this. Wielding power in the poetry world is roughly the equivalent of cutting a wide swath through your local PTA.
--"A Piece of Prose," from Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet

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