Critical Instigation

“It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator.” This assertion, for all its good intentions, presents a false dichotomy.

When dealing with the current glut of unremarkable and unrelated poetry, a bristling skepticism provides sound fortification. Today’s celebration comes quickly and too easily, without commitment. Remote, cheap approval in the form of instant, fingertip voting: Like, Thumbs Up.

“Criticism and creation are one, a total experience, and are not antagonistic at all. It is the condition of thought that is important. Gossip and classification, the two extremes of most literary discussion, do not create understanding, which is surely a major function of intelligent criticism.” (John Haines)

“Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.” (Bertrand Russell)

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