« Readers in the English-Speaking World | Main | News of the Poetry World »




I agree with your points. Imagine, Chomsky doing an institutional analysis in Alexandrine verse. Regards, Kevin

Cynthia Haven

One obvious answer is: Robert Hass. Read his essays. I attended a reading he gave a few years back and nearly all the questions afterwards had to do with education and his environmental work. His work on those issues has been notable.

You have some good points to make, but you are too dismissive of others. Robert Bly's public stances undoubtedly increased interest in his poetry, as I think they have for Hass as well.

Before dismissing Dana Gioia as a "political shill," perhaps you should read some of his essays. "Can Poetry Matter?" caused more mail to flood into the "Atlantic Monthly"'s mailbox than any previous article they had published.

And, of course, some poets (Hass among them) respond to matters in the public sphere through their poetry. Czeslaw Milosz wrote a poem on Sarajevo that he wasn't very pleased with. Before publication in the New York Review of Books (or was it the New York Times?), he remarked to a friend: "Sometimes it is better to be a little ashamed rather than silent."

Jacob Russell

If Wendell Berry has not been taken seriously beyond his "devoted readers who already agree with him," is that reason to dismiss his ideas--an American message of terroir, agricultural sustainability, the damage both environmental and political inflicted by corporate factory farming? How much more relevant can you get?

The same charge might be made of Chomsky--though his devoted followers are politically active, they are ignored precisely to the degree that the message doesn't fit the narrow range covered in the mainstream media. Dismissing Berry for not being heard amounts to saying that the only way to be relevant is to support the status quo!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Sorrentino banner
In Progress