March 30, 2010

from "The Barricades Project, the Life-Long Poem, and the Politics of Form Notes towards a Prospectus" by Stephen Collis

"I am consistently struck by the singular unambitiousness of much contemporary poetry. It would seem that, as poetry slipped from cultural significance (or at least was perceived to have slipped from perceived significance), poets have simultaneously retired to the safety of lyric introspection, becoming specialists of the quotidian, the small, the insular, the private—shrinking from the historical, social, and public. So poets bemoan the loss of “the centrality of the single poem,” and seek a return to the safe sealed domain of the singular page."