Later is now, I suppose. The story goes this way:
- The site followed me.
- The site liked a few of my posts.
- So, as I usually do, I navigated to the blog to see what was there.
- There I found a New York Times article about the long ended poetry writing Olympic event.
- It had some huge factual errors (Yes really! I realize that will come as a shock to all concerned, but we bear these things as we must)
- I didn’t have much time to poke around on the rest of the site, so I just left a comment,also as usual. I do this regardless of whether I follow/like or not, but I did mention In my posted comment a few things I noticed needed addressing regarding the article in question.
- In the comment, I also indicated that I would investigate the site more thoroughly before I decided what I would do as regards following or not.
- I did that investigation.
- The site in question had two poets in residence.
- One of them, a young lady, had won all kinds of awards.
- In the world of poetry, that fact does not usually bode well.
- Following a few links I was able to sample enough of the hideous, dead-leaf, ugly-glasses, Frankfurt-school, marxist, stuff to get a pretty good idea of what kind of poetry the site in question was likely to promote.
- I simply added a statement saying thanks for the “likes” but I wouldn’t be able to follow their site or interact with it in any way.
Now there is the whole story. I have preserved all the posts involved because the site kept my comments and their answers in moderation the entire time and may have simply deleted our entire exchange. I’ll never go back to their site so I’ll never know. As I mentioned, it did give me a subject for a sonnet, so that was making lemonade out of that lemon of a site, at least.
I made the decision then and there not to follow any poetry organization’s site, no matter how many times they like, follow and/or comment. Unless they can demonstrate that they are not of the ilk mentioned above. I’m not sure how they might accomplish that, but perhaps, if they had “ROMANTIC REALISM” stamped all over their site in bold huge lettering, that might be a start. I generally find that the burgeoning RR movement promotes art that exalts the human spirit.
I don’t mean to suggest that all art should be happy and positive, its just there is a consistently ugly way to deal with all subjects and a way which consistently is not ugly, and those RR people, by and large seem to understand the difference.
Individual poets are another matter. Particularly if young. I’ll relate one recent anecdote here:
Recently, I was followed by a young man who uses some pretty coarse and harsh–one might even call it vulgar–imagery in his work. I had a visceral reaction at first: Why would I want to come back to this site and read more things like this? The thing is, some of his work was not that way. Or certainly not as much. But the real moment of epiphany I had was due to reading over some of the work I wrote when I was that young. I have been writing sonnets–sometimes reflected off much older work of mine. Work written in much more modern forms–and even formless. Some of it could be pretty dark and I used a lot of language similar to this young man. I hadn’t really thought much about it at first, but I’d usually take a piece like that and allow it to “grow up” a bit before, or in the process of becoming a sonnet, and/or a sequence of them.
So I suppose you might say that, in view of the fact that I’ve written very similar types of things, it seemed wrong to dismiss a young poet like that out of hand. Sometimes, especially when we are young, we have feelings of anger and frustration to express, and we struggle to find ways to express them.
I could go on for another ten thousand words on this subject, but I think I’ll leave it where it is now.