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Reading a Frank Bidart interview from Chicago Review (fall 2001). He talks about how irony can be a kind of "sophicated armored writing." Bidart says, "I like extreme art. So much middle of the road art is simply boring . . . sophisticated armored writing feels very middle of the road to me. Aping the manners of the cutting edge in the twenties and thirties."

I sometimes get bothered with irony. At the end of the day I also want extreme poetry. Extreme poetry that's earned. Not cheapened by either the conventions of avant guarde poetics or "mainstream" poetics.

So I love Roethke and Michael Palmer. To me, despite being classified as "Mainstream" and "avant guarde," they both write extreme poetry.

Means and ends are never just means and ends. The ends justify nothing. The means justify nothing.

Take my head off as sister Emily would say.

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Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
Geoffrey Squires, Landscapes and Silences. Dublin: New Writers' Press, 1996.
Catherine Walsh, Idir Eatortha and Making Tents. London: Invisible Books, 1996.

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I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…