I think one of the things that language poets are very involved with is getting away from conventional ideas of beauty, because those ideas contain a certain attitude toward women, certain attitudes toward sex, certain attitudes toward race, etc.
PC stuff just lowers the general acceptance of good work and replaces it with bogus poetry that celebrates values that in themselves are probably quite worthy.
I do not read newspapers. I do not watch television. I am not interested in current events, although I will occasionally discuss them if other people want to discuss them.
One, I have a wonderful publisher, Black Sparrow Press; as long as they exist, they will keep me in print. And they claim they sell very respectable numbers of my books, so I guess, and it's true, every place I go, my books are in libraries and on bookshelves.
I think that's what poetry does. It allows people to come together and identify with a common thing that is outside of themselves, but which they identify with from the interior.
I definitely wish to distinguish American poetry from British or other English language poetry.
Still, language is resilient, and poetry when it is pressured simply goes underground.
Distinctly American poetry is usually written in the context of one's geographic landscape, sometimes out of one's cultural myths, and often with reference to gender and race or ethnic origins.
I have always wanted what I have now come to call the voice of personal narrative. That has always been the appealing voice in poetry. It started for me lyrically in Shakespeare's sonnets.
Sometimes the archaism of the language when it's spoken is why we are all in love with the Irish today.
Because, in fact, women, feminists, do read my poetry, and they read it often with the power of their political interpretation. I don't care; that's what poetry is supposed to do.
From reading a previous answer, you know that I consider all those aspects to be part of American cultural myth and thus they figure into good American poetry, whether the poet is aware of what he is doing or not.
American poetry, like American painting, is always personal with an emphasis on the individuality of the poet.
But I don't think that poetry is a good, to use a contemporary word, venue, for current events.
High and low culture come together in all Post Modern art, and American poetry is not excluded from this.
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