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  #31  
Unread 01-30-2020, 11:03 AM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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I didn't wiki this, but didn't Dickey work at an ad agency, at least for a time? Anyway, I think attacking him for being an ass is maybe the wrong approach. Some of his work is right on, though I think I do agree with some criticisms Sam might have.

Roger, James could be a little flamboyant in his introductions. But a really good teacher, some great poems, in my book. Here's link to a favorite of mine:
http://www.versedaily.org/lilyjr.shtml
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  #32  
Unread 01-30-2020, 11:38 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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James, I didn't mean to criticize Reiss at all. In fact, although I've grown less enthusiastic in later years, his book "The Breathers" was one of my favorites in college.

Speaking of college, in college I once was at a gathering that included Philip Levine. The subject of discussion turned at one point to Dickey, and I remember clearly that Levine said something like, "Just because someone's an ass doesn't mean they can't write good poems," and then he mentioned a few poems of Dickey he thought were truly wonderful.

Last edited by Roger Slater; 01-30-2020 at 11:41 AM.
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  #33  
Unread 01-30-2020, 12:00 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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No no, Roger, I didn't think you were being critical. More than anything it made me remember and smile.

*Levine said that? Ha! Great you got to meet him, like that. I know little about Philip Levine and feel a little guilty about it.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 01-31-2020 at 01:13 AM. Reason: word choice
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  #34  
Unread 01-31-2020, 10:09 AM
Rob Wright Rob Wright is offline
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The question of basing – or allowing yourself to be biased – by the behavior of an poet is an old question. Indeed there is an industry around tales – most them without foundation – of Shakespeare's life (holding horses for gentlemen attending the theater). I'm sure John Wilmot was a bad risk for a loan and that Rimbaud was tediously self-involved, but oddly I never think of those things when I read their work. And if I ever find myself falling into tall-telling about poets, I have to remind myself, "If you're looking for good behavior with these men and women, brother, you're in the wrong shop."
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  #35  
Unread 01-31-2020, 12:47 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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Yeah, I'm with you, Rob. I try not to let personal differences, or felonies, take away from what's on the page. At the same time, I can't blame those who find it way too much of a distraction. I don't agree with that view, but I understand it.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 02-01-2020 at 02:03 AM. Reason: gratuitous and edited down
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