Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

By Jerry Payne

Dear Editor,

Carmine Starnino seems to be in agreement with Geoffrey Hill’s famous assertion that “public toilets have a duty to be accessible, poetry does not.” I find that a terribly unfortunate attitude. I wouldn’t blame the poets, however, for the lowly state in which poetry finds itself, as Starnino claims we readers do. Poets simply write poetry. Determining what the public reads and does not read is the job of the editor—a job that is, nowadays, generally done poorly, even at this venerable publication. I now read only the “Comment” section, relieving myself of the duty (Hill might appreciate that phrasing) of having to suffer through the actual poetry.

Originally Published: March 1st, 2010
Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In