Friday, April 08, 2011

Review of Days Poem by Nicholas T. Spatafora

I was surprised to learn that Days Poem received a review. This is the third review of Days Poem to appear in Galatea Resurrects, or anywhere. Anny Ballardini and Jeff Harrison reviewed previously. Them I know. I know Nicholas Spatafora strictly from his bio.

And what to make of this?

I have sighed and exhaled welladay that critical consideration has become so secondary to the push of getting more stuff out there. What I mean is, we all overproduce, but the stern eye of critical evaluation hasn’t kept up. Nowadays, appearance in a Books Received list constitutes a review. Am I right?

That is why Eileen Tabios’ effort to get books reviewed carries such weight. It means a current of thought swirls around the tonnage of work appearing now. It’s nice to see those review copies get reviewed. Better than finding them at used bookstores.

So just getting reviewed feels good. And Nicholas Spatafora gives every evidence that he read the whole damn thing, 1000 premium pages. Kudos!

As to what he writes of Days Poem, that brings up another matter, one of some essence. NOT my agreement or disagreement with what he propounds concerning the work but what I, as a writer, expect the reader to ‘get’. Do I expect anything?

So far as I can see, poetry does not contest ideas. That is, I do not try to prove points. Keats of course noted Wordsworth’s tendency to sway the reader, and that was a bad thing. I agree.

The reader, however, can do whatever he/she/it wants. Readers are simply going to do that, no matter what the ‘rules’ are. The reader still must cite chapter and verse to back up any proposal of meaning, we must be scientific at least that much in the critical process. Which only means that we can say shut up, stupidhead to anyone who cannot provide something in a work to back up propositions.

Still, what do I expect as response from readers? I mean beyond a warm reaction, or any reaction at all. I do not really have an answer. As eagerly as we all do write, I think we all trip on that one.

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