Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lit Crit

I've been reading D.A. Powell's latest post on the Harriet Blog over at Poetry's website. I'm so thankful Powell took the time to write this post, as it reflects many of my own feelings about literary criticism. I admire scholars of literary criticism, but I have always shied away from delving too deeply into criticism, mostly from the fear that any one school of thought might influence my poems. I prefer to rely on instinct and imagination.

Here's the quote I love the most from Powell's post:
I think it’s okay for poets to step away from the academy for a while and just read, write, see a movie, eat a plate of chicken and waffles, write a little more, go to sleep, dream about catching tigers in red weather.

As far as criticism and reading other writers, I'm encouraged by Powell's defense of reading by instinct, accepting what resonates and passing on what doesn't. It works for me.

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