Update: in response

The Poet Tasters

Written in response to:

The Poet Tasters

Thanks very much Ben Etherington for ‘The Poet Tasters’. At last, some sense of objectivity in poetry criticism. Ben’s fundamental point seems to be to me that, ‘the criticism of poetry is falling short of its civic responsibility’. How I so agree. Why is it that after reading many reviews, and because of those reviews purchasing the book, I feel so let down from what I had been led to expect? I note Martin Duwell’s statement about not wanting to be a gatekeeper. There appears to be no notion of what criticism, or poets are expected to do or achieve. Anything goes (almost) and criticism makes judgements while pretending not to.

I would also add that poetry is falling short of its civic responsibility. If it doesn’t delight or entertain, or move our emotions, and give us ideas, what is the point of it? There is a real sense of the Emperor and his new clothes in relation to the art of poetry and the reception of it in this country, which has been in evidence for some years. No wonder it is treated as some obscure
activity and ignored by nearly all. How relevant can the irrelevant be?

I believe it is time that poets and critics turned their attention to the purpose of poetry and made some attempt to converse with us. Please dear Editor, more criticism of this kind.

Robert MacMaurice

Just wanted to say thanks to Ben Etherington for a thorough and considered article on poetry reviews in Australia. Much food for thought there. I will be revisiting and following up a few things out of this article.

Adam Ford

Published February 5, 2015