5/3/18

There’s a similar style that I’ve noticed among many of the bright young things of poetry these days, especially those from the US. A kind of high velocity leaping from startling, eccentric image to the next startling eccentric image. The writing itself is crafted and controlled but the focus of the poem seems to be in many places at once. Perhaps they are capturing that essence of the postmodern mindset, the mind that cannot settle down. They are portraying a Zeitgeist that cannot materialise because the “now” that it consists of is more fleeting than it once was. Paradoxically, it takes a lot of focus to pin down this lack of focus and make art from it. At the same time, the ability to keep your attention on one particular thing has become a superpower within this age. One way of making poems is to offer something that contrasts dramatically with current conventions of language and thought. I can’t think of anything that would demonstrate this more than a work that zeroed in its attention on one particular thing and then held it there.

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