Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by C.W. Owens
Dear Editor,

I wonder if we couldn't say the same thing about almost anything that Adam Kirsch says about literature: that, at bottom, it's a power struggle. Try it: at bottom, marriage is a power struggle; at bottom, parenthood is a power struggle; at bottom, the practice of social work is a power struggle. Yep, it works, and we have the same feeling in these other applications as in Kirsch's—namely, that there is a great deal left out by the assertion. The idea that we write only to be recognized is not entirely convincing to an otherwise intelligent person who goes on writing year after year with no recognition—who in all other areas of his or her life ceases doing unproductive things once they reveal themselves to be so.

Perrysville, Ohio

Originally Published: December 30, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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