Saturday, March 22, 2014

The coherent world view haiku

I do hope that a
coherent world view steps out
of these counted words.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

When a well-known poet does not have a major poem to his name (such as, for example, T. S. Eliot would have The Waste Land or Ezra Pound would have the Cantos), literary criticism focuses on the merits of the so-called coherent world view, i.e. it is good for a poet to have one (and, by implication, bad if you don't have one). I remember some article about the poetry of James Schuyler, where the critic spoke of this. Alas, I don't remember what the critic's ultimate conclusion was. I only remember that I strongly disagreed with both major notions of the article: 1. That there are no James Schuyler poems of major importance (to me, many of his poems are by far more important than anything erudite, contrived and sterile T. S. Eliot ever wrote), and 2. That it is difficult to discern a coherent world view in the body of James Schuyler's poetry. (To which I would say that there is hardly anyone else to rival the rendering of 20th century human experience I see in Schuyler's poetry with more coherence.)

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