No Poet Ought To Praise His Or Her Self

No poet ought to praise his or her self.

Such untward praises should go on some shelf

of forgotten scribblings mired in layers of dust,

with speckles of flies' turds as a confirming crust.

 

Starward

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This was written after my shock of reading some peot's comment, ostensibly praising one of postpoems' finest poets, but comparing it to the peot's own peoms, which the peot described in a superlative term.  I acitvely dislike, and will always in some way dislike, that particular peot's peoms.  But to be subjected to that peot's self-aggrendizing remarks----especially when the poet receiving the comment was far more deserving---is just plain offensive.

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Stephen's picture

This poem is of course about the need for humilty.

C.S. Lewis said: “Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.”  This humble man would also of course never write a poem taking someone else to task for being prideful.

Januarian's picture

Since you have commented on

Since you have commented on my poem, I shall feel more free to respond than if I was visiting one of your poems.  And what I say is directed only toward your comment, and toward other items you have posted,  I know nothing of you beyond what is on this site.  In my opinion (and all of what I am about to write is strictly and entirely my own opinion), you seem to think that no poet can criticize the behavior of some other poet, while still being humble:  I suggest this shows a woeful disdain for or disregard of the Western canon, and of poets like Callimachus, Dante, Milton, Eliot, Pound Stevens; and, most especially, the great J. V. Cunningham---all of whom were humble men; but they were also, like you and me, fallible human beings.  This is a very solipsitic position to maintain.  I have also read poems of yours that criticize others' behavior that you dislike or with which you disagree (I would cite your poem "Judgment" among others as an example).  That poems of yours that I have cited does the very same thing that you criticize in others.  To critizie the behavior of others for critizing the behavior of others---is this not like the opitical illusion of mirrors reflecting mirrors, creating what seems an infinite number of reflections that just continue to some far away vanishing point?  (Are you familiar with Ashberry's "Self Portrait In A Convexy Mirror"?   Cunningham was a very humble man, they tell me (I did not ever have the opportunity to meet him, or to hear him lecture on poetry), but when he saw an abuse of poetry, he spoke up---and, I suggest, he thought pride was an abuse of poetry.  What about John Milton's verse play, Samson Agonistes, in which the character Harapha is Milton's very subtle attack upon the overweening pride of the scholar Claudius Salmasius?  And what of Milton's portrait of Satan in Paradise Lost?---is that a failure of Milton's Christian humbleness because he used that character as a parody of certain public and poetic behaviors that he found discourteous and uncouth? 

  However, I am grateful that you visited the poem and commented.  I have been candid because you came to my comment area; like I said, if I visit yours, I try to be more circumspect.  But here, I will respond as appears, to me, to be a fit and fair reply.  (By the way, you ought to check out David Lean's film, Doctor Zhivago, specifically the character Strelnikov's comments about Zhivago's poetry.  When I saw the film, this past Saturday, I thought of you when I heard Strelnikov make those remarks.  I did not imagine, then, that you would favor me with a comment, as you have done today.)  Thanks again for that, Uncle.  Feel free to visit any poem, at any time.  [*/+/^]


Januarian

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Pungus's picture

I Am Hear

Painting eyeball portrait in fractal form,

in which the theme is Presently dispayeld:

A Reflection of Eathother's Staredown.

 

I am Certainly no scholar to see that nerves run high

and Certainly not a Lady but My Lovely Lady approves.

 

It really is interdimensional stuff.

Poets be merry! Poets suck a black cherry,

and spit out the pit into the transhbin!

Stephen's picture

The bystander eggs on the pugilists.

.

Januarian's picture

Hey, Uncle, be more

Hey, Uncle, be more circumspect in what you say about a real Poet.  Pungus is more than a bystander, he is a real Poet. He has more artistry and poetic skill on his worst day than you will ever achieve in your entire lifetime.  So when you enter my comment section, restrict your comments to me and my poems, and do not even attempt to remark about the real Poets who might care to comment here.  


Januarian

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Januarian's picture

Thank you, sir, for your

Thank you, sir, for your perspective, which I always appreciate.


Januarian

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Pungus's picture

The Game is Played

Guilty as a cannibal in court.

Eliot says, "Humility is endless."

And yes it's an acquired taste.

 

Januarian's picture

Thank you, sir, for reminding

Thank you, sir, for reminding me of that.


Januarian

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