Shively makes me think of Plato’s reaction to poets. In “Ion” Plato says poets should be exiled from the city limits. He says it’s because poets cannot be trusted with knowledge, too busy with the occult and fairytales. I’m not convinced though that that’s the only reason, or even the main reason. I think this is an excuse because the real danger poets have posed in every century has been to challenge the power structures of their time.
Plato didn’t just say we poets should be told to shut our mouths, he was saying we should actually be removed from the city entirely. That censorship is severe, making poets a threat to the hypocritical template of democracy right from its very inception over 2,000 years ago. Poets have a history and a birthright to disturb.
Omg stop it! You are not Anna Akhmatova, you’re not Fateme Ekhtesari, you’re not Mahmoud Darwish!! LIKE this is not to say that you have to be at risk of arrest to be writing important poetry, but who are these weirdos, pretending like they are literally going to get sent into exile over their poetry?????
I KNOWWWW. Everything about CA Conrad’s response pissed me off. And like, for someone who has built a career over somatic poetry exercises that attempt to connect environmental context to words and writing, he is being deliberately obtuse. Like, the fucking round table is called “Trigger Warnings in the CREATIVE WRITING CLASSROOM.” That is a substantially different context from say, reading a poem to your friend or, you know, actually writing poetry. And again, for someone who bills himself as a radical fuck-shit-up kind of poet, how can you just miss the OBVIOUS fucking power dynamic between an educator (esp. university professors who are at the center of this debate) and students?
The poetry worlds I’ve seen are so full of this kind of “the poem before all else” horseshit. Not to mention a lot of delusions of grandeur around who the poet “is” and the history of *POOOOOOETRRRYYYY* (whatever the fuck THAT is). Vommmmit