off the naughty list

September 15, 2010

1. Can creative writing only be staggeringly excellent if the writer is a little unbalanced mentally? Do we “mistake” their messed up serotonin levels for genius? Do we love Sylvia Plath because she was depressed, Coleridge because he did opium and Wilmot because he was constantly drunk? If this is the only reason why their perspectives are so fresh and dazzling to us…well, does that matter? Lastly, would you want to be friends with your favorite poet?

2. What do you think of confessional poetry and the Beats? Share Bishop’s view that they were too whiny and tell-all, or do you think that’s what poetry should be? I just read Wordsworth and Coleridge for Lorentzen, and I gulped Samuel T down but couldn’t stand the simplistic style of Wordsworth. For me, poetry is wild and emotional and packed with imagery and so on–it doesn’t matter how arrogant and self-indulgent it may come off as (as some people thought Howl did).

Go forth and debate.

P.S. I’m excited about the Howl writing challenge.

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