Sock it to me

Ernst Gombrich wrote something about delight lying between boredom and confusion. So much of what I read and hear of contemporary poetry throws me toward one end of that spectrum or the other. I encounter a lot of work that feels either obvious and heavy-handed or cold and manipulated. I am searching for delight. But am I letting myself off too easy? I’ve written about this before in previous posts, urging myself to read open-mindedly, open heartedly, to withstand the “irritable reaching after fact and reason.” But I’m better at preaching than doing. I keep telling myself that it’s okay for art to take work to absorb. Some days I feel like I don’t have the time or energy for that work. If it doesn’t sock it to me pretty readily, I’m just going to have to move on. I love MassMOCA because I think it generally does a great job of interpreting the work of its artists. I’ll bend carefully over the literature as I move through the massive spaces and often come away delighted. Maybe more contemporary poetry should come with some curator’s interpretations. I need help.


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