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)