Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Mark Halliday on The Hatred of Poetry

Very interesting piece here by Mark Halliday, responding to Ben Lerner's book (as he says, it's a pretty slim book), The Hatred of Poetry.

I think I'd tend to come down more on Halliday's side, but then I haven't been able to read Lerner's essay in full yet, so that's probably unfair. What I don't understand, from what I have read, is exactly why Lerner feels that poetry creates in us hopes of perfect works of art, hopes which are then inevitably disappointed, any more than any other artform does. Surely readers go to poetry for any number of different reasons, at different times? Surely we approach other artforms in the same way?

Still, I should read the whole thing before commenting further.


David Clarke said...

I'm also unconvinced by Lerner's argument, although it may well be true for him. The book is based on an earlier essay of his that can be read on-line, and the book doesn't seem to add much to the overall thesis (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n12/ben-lerner/diary)
If you're interested, you can read my own take on this here: http://athingforpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/why-do-people-hate-poetry.html

Matt Merritt said...

Thanks very much, David, will enjoy reading that.