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Posts Tagged: Mark Edmundson

David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: The Cynicism of Mark Edmundson, Or Poetry Is Still Not Dead

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Mark Edmundson’s take down of contemporary American poetry, “Poetry Slam,” (currently behind the paywall) in this month’s issue of Harper’s, is not so bad really. He’s right about the insularity of the American poetic idiom, the stranglehold of deconstructive theory on the imaginations of younger American poets, the influence of William Wordsworth for two hundred years on American poetry’s sense of ambition as a private rather than public art, the proliferation of teaching the writing of poetry and therefore the difficulty in discerning what might be the, quote-unquote, poetry of the age — notwithstanding that we will never know who those poets are or what those poems are for certain until the age is over.

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Musical Effects

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At The Chronicle, Mark Edmundson, English professor at University of Virginia, explains the emotional importance of pop music, as it “suggests, by its easy, pleasurable repetitions,” that our “static inside” makes sense, as “we can pretend, for the duration of a song, that there is harmony in our lives.”

“The sadness in a Leonard Cohen song or the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’ was different from the sadness that inhabited my spirit.

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