Poetry on the Brink

A few days ago we came across this commendable article by Marjorie Perloff:


We particularly enjoyed her denouncement of the perfectly publishable lyric, which invariably comprises the following characteristics: 1) irregular lines of free verse; 2) prose syntax, laced with graphic imagery or even extravagant metaphor (the sign of poeticity?); 3) memory designated by the lyrical speaker.

Unfortunately the same cancer has spread through Italian literature as well. We particularly resent the lack of research on language and the unbearable focus on the self that these “young” poets display. Indeed, they appear rather old and dusty when compared to even the lesser representatives of American and European modernism…

And the same lack of rigor in the editing of anthologies can also be found in the bel paese. Too often biographies, dates of birth, cliques, and other inconsequential details govern inclusions and exclusions. A good anthologist should be like the hairdresser, who “trims aimless and retrograde growths into CLEAN ARCHED SHAPES and ANGULAR PLOTS.”

But read the article and let’s open the discussion.

In the meantime, Futurist roses to Perloff for calling these people out!

Rizzo – Siracusa

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