What Kind of
Regarding the comment section at the bottom of the article. This is something that bothers me most about a certain type of ego-malfunctioning (and in my opinion, wannabe) poet. The article is one editor's selections for "Top Poetry Books of 2009." Whether one cares for these types of lists or agrees with the selections made, it's one guy writing about poetry. One guy trying to introduce new readers to these books. There's all kinds of responses one could come up with towards such an article, supportive or critical.
But what does "Sally" find worthy of pointing out? That the press this editor works for published his own book. Not that "Sally" bothered to share any criticism about this editor's book. I bet "she" never read it. Don't you know, poetry is all about how you get your poetry out there, not the stoopid poetry itself. I mean, geez, what kind of asshole reads and has anything to say about contemporary poetry these days?
It's way more important to write lengthy letters speculating whether or not John Ashbery and W.H. Auden had a little winkie winkie going on 50+ years ago, than to appreciate the tens of books and thousand of poems Ashbery created. The fact that John Ashbery still has to defend himself against accusations like this is particularly repulsive. Yes, I'm sure we'd all be reading poems by this (still) disgruntled poet who didn't win Yale -- if only Auden was able to resist Ashbery's oh-so "soft-spine". If Ashbery is not a poet worthy of being read, the letter writer should make that argument instead of stewing over a poem-making tramp stealing his contest judge.
In fact, that is what I'd like to see a lot more of -- instead of going after the modes of how a poet gets work out there, why don't these jilted poets instead explain what it is exactly about the work that lacks merit. Tell me why I shouldn't waste my time reading these poems. Cause you know, when I read a poem, the last thing that crosses my mind is who knows who -- and the last quality I desire from a poet is conventionality and rule-following. I yearn for the days when poets were poets and poems were _______.