Work Wanted

A message (reportedly) to students: “Craft is nothing. Sincerity is everything.” How can that be? Minus adequate, proper construction–exercising control–how long can the work hold out? Craft is the bracing. Are we not talking about poetry (any serious writing) as a fine art?

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4 thoughts on “Work Wanted

  1. Interesting beginning – I wanted you to develop this idea a bit – leave them wanting more – right?

  2. cjcleach says:

    Reblogged this on CJCLeach and commented:
    On some level, as through the 20th century people tried to make art inclusive, talent and craft became frowned upon as old fashioned and elitist.

    Maybe it’s sadly symbolic of the shallowness of modern values….I mean, shouldn’t sincerity be taken for granted? If someone says something, tries to impart a message, the default setting should be that they mean it. Right?

    Add to that, that to praise one artists sincerity is to assume a dishonesty in others that is never explicitly stated. It’s a compliment without an opposite in that regard. No one can say this poem or that novel isn’t “sincere”…so people use it as universal praise. Which makes it meaningless.

    • As my friend and former mentor, Douglas Smith, likes to point out: “Bad poets often write, with great sincerity, about how bad it is when bad people do bad things in bad ways.”



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