Nead a break from all your creative efforts? Cast your anchor here and enjoy a little chit-chat.
By RonPrice
#21239
ORIGINALITY AND INFLUENCE

On the back cover of the 1994 Norton anthology Postmodern American Poetry, a commentary claims that the collection is the first to �fully represent the movements of American avant-garde poetry.� Beginning with a poem by Charles Olson from 1953, the anthology contains 411 poems by 103 different poets, from the Beats, the New York School and the Projectivists to a general �array of poetry written since 1975.� The selection ranges from John Cage, Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac to Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley and Amiri Baraka to Jerome Rothenberg, Susan Howe, Bruce Andrews and Lyn Hejinian. The last entries are from 1992; thus the volume covers a time span of just short of forty years, the forty years between the two Baha�i Holy Years of 1953 and 1992. For the purposes of this prose-poem contemporary poetry is taken as the period of the poetry found in this anthology 1953 to 1992 and beyond during the years of my poetic output: 1992 to 2010.

I took an interest in Ruediger Heinze�s review of this Norton anthology in his: �The Dream of the Unified Field�: Originality, Influence, the Idea of a National Literature and Contemporary American Poetry,� in the European Journal of American Studies, Volume 2, 2008. My interest was aroused since it was in the same year 1992, an auspicious juncture in the history of the Faith I had been associated with for nearly 40 years, that I began to take the writing of poetry seriously after 40 years of playing around its literary edges in a host of different ways.1

In the western tradition of poetry the poet who stands out, who is successful, who gains a reputation that lasts, must be a strong-willed individual whose creative genius allows him or her to write with and against an overwhelming tradition, altering it and thus leaving the imprint of their originality on the genealogy of great literature. Who knows whether my poetry, my writing, would come to stand out? Indeed, the very aspiration toward such a distinctiveness, such a distinction, seems somewhat pretentious.

One defining characteristic of poetry across the spectrum of over 200 nations in our planetized world, is its diversity, its inability to be pigeonholed or represented by one or two or many more major figures and models. There is no binding consensus on what is essential in poetry right now. There may never be in the millennia to come. Who knows? This superabundant complexity may seem maddening to those whose business it is to impose rational categorization upon disorder � namely critics and theorists � but to poets like myself this situation feels like an entirely welcome and delightful state of affairs.2-Ron Price with thanks to 1Universal House of Justice, Ridvan Message, 1992 and 2Ruediger Heinze�s review of the 1994 Norton anthology Postmodern American Poetry: �The Dream of the Unified Field�: Originality, Influence, the Idea of a National Literature and Contemporary American Poetry,� in the European Journal of American Studies, Volume 2, 2008.

No single style here in this poetry of 40
years�.but some ongoing resistance to
any mainstream ideology:1 my work can
find its home here in the extension of a
collection of poetry than began with the
inception on Earth of God�s Kingdom!!2

I tap into many international, historical,
national, local, religious, psychological,
sociological & popular culture voices--
defining my utterance within what may
seem like a jangle of many influences!!3

A generation of poets has been raised in
incestuous creative writing programs at
universities where students are taught the
mechanics of writing poetry and they try
to avoid taking risks�an imperative for
getting that passing grade, the assessment. And so creativity, finding one�s individual
voice and making one�s words new is not
found.4 I have found mine and I share the
voice in cyberspace in nanoseconds across
a space measured in trillions of megabytes.

1 Paul Hoover, ed. Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology, W. W. Norton & Company, NY, 1994, p.xxvi.
2 From a Baha�i perspective the Kingdom of God on Earth can be seen to begin in 1953 with the completion of the mother temple in Chicago.
3 �No poet since Whitman has tapped into so many distinctly American voices and, at the same time, so preserved his utterance against the jangle of influences,� Susan M. Schultz Schultz, ed., The Tribe of John: Ashbery and Contemporary Poetry, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 1995, p.1.
4 Ezra Pound(1885-1972), a major figure of the early Modernist movement in poetry, emphasized that poets in their work should �make it new.�
Ron Price
29 August 2010

Reward: Writing this piece has been its own reward
By RonPrice
#22670
Administrators and moderators need to delete the above 3 posts since they have no relevance to my initial post in this thread. Such action on the part of site organizers would be appreciated.-Ron Price, Australia
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