The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #2694976
Posted By: Amos
06-Aug-09 - 04:27 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
"Frost's is a poetic world large and difficult enough to get lost in," he writes. He finds in Frost's poems an expression at once appealingly plain (sometimes deceptively so) and canny. By ­contrast, the poems of Wallace Stevens (championed by Ms. Vendler) are frequently "elusive to the point of ­incomprehension, their gorgeous structures of sound not put to the service of illuminating 'subjects'—human beings."

This quarrel mirrors one taking place in ­the classroom in recent decades, where Stevens has been largely on the rise as an academic fashion and Frost on the decline. It also recalls a famous exchange between the two poets, recounted by Frost's biographer ­Lawrence Thompson:

"The trouble with you, Robert, is that you write about—subjects."

"The trouble with you, Wallace, is that you write about—bric-a-brac."

(From a book review about poetry)