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  • Nathan Brown

Not Quite Done Yet...


I'm long enough out of the loop now, that I no longer feel much of a need to argue with academics over the nature of high versus low art. But, as I read quite a bit of Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Bishop these last few weeks, I was struck this morning by a considerably clarifying thought:

I'm not interested in being "impressed" by poetry.

Especially poetry that the academy feels I should be impressed by.

No... I want to be touched... I want to be healed... I want to be inspired...

I want to come away with what Tom Boyd, a belovéd professor of philosophy at OU, once called to my face (as he tightly clenched my hand in his): that "Mmmm Thing!"

I want it like a boot to my gut. I want it to "burn a hole right through me," as Bukowski once said. Or something very close to it. That's it. That's what I want.

And the poetry that does it to me is very rare.

Especially in academia.

#tomboyd #poetry #art #academia

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