Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Kenneth Rosen
Dear Editor,

I wish Dana Gioia could have said a word to correct Garrison Keillor's obtuse dismissal of Marianne Moore and was more willing to give intellectual space to poetry's necessary difficulty, and I wish August Kleinzahler could have given more thought to the aesthetic function of shock and risk, rather than extolling them as self-evident truths which justisfied his energetic deployment of the s-word—at breakfast, no less. Keillor is sharper, crueller, and often scarier than Kleinzahler acknowledges, and it doesn't take much to belittle the balm of "reassurance, continuity, and containment" with which he subtly wraps his soft and entertaining grenades, which so astutely echo the conscious hypocrisies of his proud, greedy, and intelligent audience.

Portland, Maine

Originally Published: October 30, 2005

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This prose originally appeared in the May 2004 issue of Poetry magazine

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