Sunday, December 28, 2008

Loading the Canon

The National Poetry Review is hosting the Laureate Prize for Poetry, which "honors one new poem that TNPR believes has the greatest chance, of those entered, of standing the test of time and becoming part of the literary canon."


As if.

I admit that I'm partial to my poems. As Gwen Head so eloquently put it, "Mes poemes sont mes enfants." My poems are my children, too. I'm especially fond of the poems in my new manuscript. But do I think any one of them will stand the test of time and whatever other tests the canon requires?

What does that entail? Writing about something big, important, historical? Writing in a form? Being famous? Being dead?

Is my reaction the response of a woman? (I don't think so.) Or is it the reaction of someone historically insecure? (More likely, but we're talking about poets anyway, right?)

I guess I'm writing for the moment, and for people I care about and love. I'll leave the literary artillery to someone else.

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