Goia and Woods on Poetry

Not necessarily the main thrust of the blog entry--this portion of an exchange between James Wood and Dana Gioia on poetry is quite fine.

Fine enough indeed to prompt me to encourage you to look at the entire thing--Gioia v. Wood

From Gioia's opening foray:

Reacting against this soggy status quo, the Modernists refashioned American poetry in a variety of ways. Robinson, Frost, and Jeffers created what might be called a tough-minded Naturalist style. Moore, Eliot, and Pound worked out a hard-edged objective approach. Stevens explored a different sort of impersonality steeped in metaphysical speculation. Cummings, Williams, Ransom, Crane, and Hughes each made his own contribution. Ultimately, the Modernists not only changed our poetry, but together they constituted perhaps the greatest cluster of talent in the history of American literature. Although they represented a range of aesthetics, they shared a conviction that poetry benefited from compression, intensity, and evocative lyricality.

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