Skip to content

The Robert effect

May 22, 2013

It’s Thursday, finally.

The prompt is up. Was up since yesterday. We cheated.

Since we’re hanging around the poetic blogosphere, we thought it’s worthy to share articles we read about poets who post thoughts about poetry. Poets have thoughts. In fact there is a whole cabinet containing voluminous files titled “Is poetry a bad idea?”

Robert Peake talks about dispossessed poets here. How often were you asked, Why are you into poetry? Perhaps the questioner even expected you to be the Byron type because poetry is romantic. So you’re either up on a pedestal or instantly knocked off one, depending. If you’re a woman, tough luck. You’re up against Emily Dickinson, the closet intellectual/spinster type who loved a man she could not marry.

For a start, we’re naming this series after the author of the article. Go read if you have time.

It’d only be a series if we found any more articles that interest us as poets. We’ll be on the lookout. Probably it’ll feel like chancing on a beautiful bird. If you spot one, do a shoutout. Or email us.

  1. May 23, 2013 12:13 am

    It may be presumptuous of me to link my own article here: but it contains a refutation of criticism by Seamus Heaney of Dylan Thomas and other poets. I wonder if any WWP poets agree with me. There is a similar article linked at the bottom of my post.

  2. May 23, 2013 7:16 am

    Up against Emily Dickinson? Interesting. I never thought of it that way. If you’re an African-American female poet, you’re up against number of women: Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, or perhaps gwendolyn brooks. But then again, Julie Brown, author of Writers on the Spectrum proposed that Dickinson had Asperger Syndrome. So maybe I’m still up against her. 🙂

    • May 23, 2013 8:21 am

      It’s just that she predates anyone else and is embraced both within the male and feminist canon. 🙂 I don’t know about Asperger but she avoided social contact for sure.

  3. May 23, 2013 8:37 am

    Good point Irene.

    I’m not so much asked why I write poetry, but more about what I write.

    Peake’s article does provoke a lot of thought and I think he does offer some good advice or those of us committed to the craft. Unless the social and cultural climate, particularly in the Western world changes, we’re stuck with fantasy football and Honey Boo Boo. We poets, however, will still be on fire. 🙂


    • May 23, 2013 7:17 pm

      Secretly on fire. 🙂

      My ex boss said, who writes poetry nowadays? But he’s a classical Chinese.

  4. May 26, 2013 12:58 am

    I enjoyed reading the article. My ongoing saga may be found here:


Comments are closed.