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  #41  
Old 05-15-2018, 11:28 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Well, fewer than 350 leaves the door wide open. It could be seven.

Cheers,
John
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  #42  
Old 05-15-2018, 11:37 AM
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Michael Ferris Michael Ferris is offline
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I suppose we should take the length of her average poem into consideration, too, Rogerbob. Few of her poems that I know exceed two pages, many are one. As far as word count goes, I honestly don't know how she compares to others.

I think of it this way: if she wrote one poem a week that she deemed worth keeping, her productive life as a poet would span only seven years. It spanned quite a bit longer, so her "publishable" output must have been considerably less than one poem a week.

Regardless, the quote to me is delicious -- self-effacing and puckish, like I find her work.

Last edited by Michael Ferris; 05-15-2018 at 11:41 AM. Reason: grammar
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  #43  
Old 05-15-2018, 04:31 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I think we tend to judge most of the greats by their best one or two dozen poems, with the rest just being background music.
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  #44  
Old 05-15-2018, 05:32 PM
john savoie john savoie is offline
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Yes, Roger is right.
Even for Emily D, let me choose a hundred,
and you can keep the other 1700.
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  #45  
Old 05-16-2018, 05:53 AM
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Michael Ferris Michael Ferris is offline
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Yes, to quote Randall Jarrell's wonderful metaphor:

A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he is great.

I think it comes down to a question of the severity of the internal censor. Eliotís and perhaps Szymborska's were stern; Audenís and Dickinsonís, not so much. But this is to hijack Jayneís thread. Itís an interesting question and also involves asking whether the poet is the best judge of his or her work. We might have an interesting thread on it!
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  #46  
Old 05-16-2018, 06:37 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Emily Dickinson is a special case, I think, at least for me, since over the years I am often "discovering" poems of hers that I never really noticed before, poems that I had seen but hadn't opened up for me earlier. Many of her poems are closed little systems that seem puzzling until you somehow crack the code and step inside them. Also, while she clearly has some poems that are the stand-outs, the rest of her poems seem to be an important context to a full apprecition of the voice that speaks to us in the greater poems, and once you are tuned to the voice of her greater poems it is always nice to hear it speak once again in her "lesser" poems. So if only 100 of her poems are great, I will indeed choose to keep the other 1700 and value them.
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  #47  
Old 05-17-2018, 10:21 PM
Anna M Evans Anna M Evans is offline
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I'm an infrequent lurker. I check in because Eratosphere represents my poetic tribe, and I learn stuff about what people are doing (and sadly, who has died).

However, I don't feel particularly welcome here because of everything that went down at West Chester in 2014 and since, and I get that, although it makes me sad.

Thanks for asking, Jayne.
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  #48  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:32 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Anna, I don't think you'd find any unwelcomeness in any thread that didn't involve West Chester. If you posted or critiqued poems, you'd be as welcome as anyone.
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  #49  
Old 05-18-2018, 01:40 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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What Roger said, and more, Anna. Some of us don't know or care what happened at West Chester. And, in fact, barely know what it is. I know it's some hifalutin' poetry conference, but I also know I'm unlikely ever to attend. I don't like the thought of people being sad.

Hi!

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 05-18-2018 at 01:44 PM.
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  #50  
Old Today, 01:53 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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More posters with a diversity of views and perspectives is better.

I don't know you personally Anna, though I enjoy what you edit and write, and know nothing about West Chester. Count my voice with Mark, if it means anything.
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