Seminal Ommisions

Nice discussions going on in the blog world. The whole Jeff Clark review is interesting.

The idea of a negative review having a postive impact? A bad review or censorship can fuel the interest of a given poet/writer/artist etc.

Certainly this isn't always the case.

I am wondering if blurbs should be negative.


______ poetry is the most miserable, unintelligent, bullshit you will ever read.

I am also interested in what Tony is discussing.

The idea of reading seminal work.

I would like to own up to all the poets I can't get into or haven't read who might be seminal to _____

(perhaps only for now; perhaps forever):

Ezra Pound (can't get into yet)

Zukofsky (maybe later)

Olson (can't get into yet)

Robert Duncan (I have a selected. Can't get into it yet)

Jack Spicer (want to read him but haven't yet)

Dante's Divine Comedy (only read the Inferno trans. by Robert Pinsky)

Ted Berrigan (only read a few of his poems)

Allen Ginsberg (only a few anthologized poems)

Ron Silliman (I have Jones and Lit but can't get into them yet)

Charles Berstein (only read a few anthologized pieces and A Poetics)

Ronald Johnson (I haven't read him yet. This one's a yet for sure. But it seems like everyone has read Ronald Johnson)

Alright, better stop. I could go on for quite a while.

Do I consider myself "well read?" I read poetry for four or five hours almost everyday.

Maybe I am not reading the serious, brightest, and the best?

How many "greats" are there?

Again, I agree with giving the big names multiple attempts.

But I am not sure if reading a certain list of great poets is necessary to write "great" poems.

The kneejerk might be either:

a) Pound is great because most of the good innovative poets say so (even though I haven't read much of his work)


b) Pound sucks because most of the older generation of innovative poets love him (even though I haven't read much of his work)

If Tony's main point is to not automatically dismiss a poet without having read them, I agree.

I have experienced the "not ready for this yet" many times.

I am more curious about the term/idea of seminal.

How/who/what makes a poet's work seminal?


1. a. Of or pertaining to the seed or semen of men and animals (applied Phys. and Anat. to structures adapted to contain or convey semen); of the nature of semen.

2. With reference to plants: Pertaining to or of the nature of seed. Bot. Of organs or structures: Serving to contain the seed.

3. gen. Of or pertaining to the seed or reproductive elements existing in organic bodies, or attributed in pre-scientific belief to inorganic substances. Formerly often in seminal power, virtue: the power of producing offspring.

4. fig.    a. Having the properties of seed; containing the possibility of future development. Also, freq. used of books, work, etc., which are highly original and influential; more loosely: important, central to the development or understanding of a subject.


What is central to an understanding of the subject of poetry?