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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

Thus we come full circle - the act of creating poetry need not be difficult. BUT something that can be created easily is difficult to discern mastery within. SO mastery within poetry is (seemingly) arbitrarily assigned by elitists. THUS lots of people hate poetry - an easy thing whose merit is arbitrarily assigned by elitists.

Lost in all this is the fact that people who aren't interested in a literature class for its own sake aren't generally interested in poetry either. So when they're forced to regurgitate some canned wisdom about why Aldo Leopold is a genius but all Kipling is doggerel, it sticks in the craw.

Because sure. Anything you say is poetry is poetry. But poetry that matters? That's determined by people whose standards they won't even explain to you because they know it'll only make you mad. So trust us when we say this poem means all this stuff and spew our answers back at us because we don't want you in this class, either, nerd, and if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that you shouldn't be here.




rjw  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Doesn't this mean that the problem is not poetry, but the people who attempt to speak for the whole of humanity when they say "this is good"? They exist in every medium! Tell them to fuck off

kleinbl00  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The problem is not poetry, it is the representation of poetry and those people who speak for the whole of humanity are the ones grading you. Tell them to fuck off and you get an F. Thus is the problem compounded - not only is your opinion invalidated, but your future success depends on accepting the opinion of rd95's elitists.

no one outside of art is generally required to participate in the evaluation and appreciation of contemporary art. On the other hand, you can't so much as graduate high school without being sheep-dipped in poetry every goddamn year. Thus, the low esteem poetry is generally held in by the United States at large.

rd95  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Woah! Woah! Hold your horses here. Let's get one thing straight. They're not my elitists. I don't know who's in charge here and I'm about as far removed from the influencers of poetry as I am the influencers of nuclear policy.

Shit. I think part of the reason I like folk art and naive art and all that shit is because it's left alone by the "elites." I mean, you could point out all of those quilting magazines and wood working TV shows as kind of elites, but if you ask me, they're just passing on institutional knowledge . . . in a way that is similar yet different than colleges and still heavily commercialized.

Damnit. Now I gotta spend half a month reevaluating and adjusting my worldview again.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They're not my elites either but again - poetry is uniquely challenged as a medium because the elites are unavoidable.

A picture can be propagated many ways. As can a song, as can a book. It will find an audience through typical propagation. A poem? We're not in the habit of reading poetry because on the one hand, people with culture will hold up William Fucking Blake as someone to admire and he rhymes "eye" with "symmetry" because of course he does. Meanwhile, the "poet" known most to Americans is undoubtedly Dr. Seuss who would not, could not, on a boat, would not could not with a goat but fuckin' A:

    Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,

    O, what a panic's in thy breastie!

That wasn't English even back then. Yub yub, mutherfucker.

So no. You can't point out woodworking TV shows as elites. They're saying "here's how to turn wood into furniture" or "here's how to turn fabric into decor" instead of "here's how to turn words into ART, no, not like that, yes we know that Blake put -ey on the ends of words to rhyme but you shouldn't, in fact, don't try to rhyme, it's limiting, art is good when we say so stop asking it won't be on the test."

I guess my overall point is there is NO art form so dependent on definition by tastemakers than poetry, and poetry's tastemakers are assholes. Except maybe they aren't. Maybe they're so busy exploring the realms of what poetry means that they forget that most of us haven't been human centipeding their art form for 20 years so we don't get how a 17th century asshole digested four times is somehow more "arty" than Dr. Seuss.

rjw  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yep I totally agree perhaps I just didn't say it clearly enough! I don't mean fuck off to teachers because they rule your life, I meant more to that sentiment (insofar as you won't be graded down for it).

In fact I think this is pointing at something else that I need to examine in myself. I think I am being too brash about this subject and not totally appreciating the amount of emotional pain that being dragged through shit literature lessons has done to people.

Perhaps I'm actually projecting my own experiences of English lessons. I had to be basically held in front of a piece of paper to write. Creative writing was something I only ever did under duress. I was always told that I had plenty of good ideas in my head, the problem was just getting them onto paper. Can you imagine how much damage that does to a young mind? I had to write something good! So naturally I never wrote anything.

kleinbl00  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've had two of my screenplays optioned. I once (and hopefully again) shared an agency with Stephen King.

And I stopped writing for ten.goddamn.years because of shit literature lessons.

The pedagogy of literature is rank, rank, rank bullshit. I'm sure there are great teachers and professors out there but the only thing I ever got out of any English class is damage. I have stated to friends that have asked that the only reason I can think of for attending any high school reunion is the possible opportunity to punch some English teachers for stealing my life.

rjw  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was saved from the destructive pedagogy of English lessons by doing two things:

- being bullied all the time so I was distracted by that

- not trying

YMMV