So I began writing this way back in September and never posted it. Now seems like a good time to finish the thought…
We addressed the question last class (or more like, twelve classes ago) about the importance of bringing the poet into the poetry, and thereby be influenced in our reading of the poem by the poet’s life and background. I know it’s an age-old question about whether who the artist is and what their history is should or should not be accounted for in the art itself, but I want to ask how this can be applied to us, specifically. When I began writing this post a few months ago, I had in mind that despite Ezra Pound’s fascism, his work is still highly respected and studied, but on the other hand, we called into question his authority on poetry based on his political beliefs.
For me, context is key to understanding the background of a poem, where it came from, and how it fits in to the wider narrative consciously or unconsciously created by the poet. However, if anyone were to make some stupid “roses are red, violets are blue” pun for the billionth time, it shouldn’t matter if that person is Shakespeare risen from the grave, the cliched bad poetry should probably be taken for what it is (read: trash).
Anyway, I think the takeaway from this post, or tl;dr is this: sometimes poets or other artists say things in other contexts that get us angry and upset. Sometimes, if we read into the poetry, we can find hints of these lines of thinking. So what about you? Do you try to shape your poetry into something unbiased, something free of opinions that might make others angry? Do you/might you ever embrace writing in such a way so as to make people angry (hopefully not for supporting fascist dictators, though)?