Lazy Poets

‘Most poets are just lazy prose-writers’,
Said William Burroughs.
The cheek of it! Though he did say that T S Eliot was
Impressive as a lecturer. He had found that at Harvard.
And of course they did both come from St Louis.
He expressed no view of Ezra Pound though.
Hadn’t really read him, he professed.
Lazy prose-writers indeed! Of course, he always liked
To express dissent from commonly held views.
It was a trade mark of his. Liked to shock if he could.
Never liked to swim with the shoal, any shoal.
But really, what a way to dismiss poetry!
It made me so angry! How dare he?
After all the endless hours searching for just the right
Word or phrase, just the right nuanced emotion, just the
Right atmosphere, the rhythm, the shape, the rhyme…
The endless rewriting, the paring down, the bold excision.
He calls that lazy? Well we can all just pop pills,
Change our consciousness somehow, chemically or otherwise,
Rip off somebody else’s work, or stuff of our own
We can’t find any use for, cut it into pieces and then rearrange it
In ways that chaos makes incomprehensibly interesting.
Why am I so incensed by it? I guess he might have got
Too close to the truth…


◄ The Wind's Lament

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 1st Jan 2018 11:20

Writers on writers eh? Almost as bad as poets on poets!
An interesting viewpoint Fitzroy. You might also place the question on the discussion section. You may have more response perhaps.

fitzroy herbert

Mon 1st Jan 2018 10:18

I just fancied dropping a rather misshapen stone into the pond to see what the ripples might bring. Yours in the only ripple so far. And I thank you...There's a story that Burroughs once met Sam Beckett at an event in Paris. When Beckett was asked an opinion of him later, he said: 'Well, he's a writer.' Typically terse, the Thin Man. What he meant, of course, he never elaborated upon. The way Burroughs tells the story, he took it as a compliment. To actually be called a writer by Beckett he considered accolade enough. Well, you would, wouldn't you? But I guess my take is that a 'writer' will say and do pretty much anything, especially for effect....So what?

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 31st Dec 2017 17:04

Intriguing, involving and, for me, containing corroboration
of an opinion occasionally bubbling to the surface of the
poetical stream. I know of William Burroughs and his
reputation but not much of his material. Funny how
unexpected viewpoints emerge to flavour the cauldron of conflicting creativity.

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