Saturday, June 29, 2019


Modern Poetry

A Barfield Sampler: Poetry and Fiction by Owen Barfield (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), p. 36:
                   AL FRESCO
             (on modern poetry)

Who's for outdoors? Who's had enough of all this?
Hurl a stone to splinter the sealed-up window,
Pierce the stale, accentual froust, the dreary,
        Droned, never-ending,

Sharply flat, sententiously unromantic,
Unctuously startling combinations,
Postured substantival effects—the bleating,

Cant of curt, contemplative tropes' detachment!
Half-asleep, chain-smoking...among the wine-stains
Smart the conversation—but who's for the open
        Lift of a language

Laced with verbs, not frightened of consonants, or
Juxtaposed stressed syllables, fit for breathing,
Harshly sweet, strong, quantitatively trim, loud,
        Shoutable English?
Franklin P. Adams (1881-1960), "To the Neo-Pseudoists," By and Large (Garden City: Doubleday, Page, 1914), p. 84:
Poets and painters and sculptors,
  Ye of the Screeching schools,
Scorners of Art's conventions,
  Haters of bonds and rules,

Mockers of line and rhythm,
  Loathers of color and rhyme,
What of your new creations?
  What of the Test of Time?

Fetters no longer bind you,
  Ye of the New To-day,
But — if a dolt may ask it —
  What have ye got to say?

Here is another question,
  Less of the head than heart:
Is the new stuff wonderful merely
  Because it is rotten art?

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