Re: Slinger and the texts of the 60's

Grant Jenkins (
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 15:41:17 -0400

Dear Michael and List,

Please forgive the brash, high-flown, and defensive tone of my second post.
Ironically, I was most flattered by your personal response to me, and I
misused it as an ocassion to get on my soapbox. I am sorry for that. I
guess that studying poetry (especially writers and schools that aren't
being that widely read now on cultural or non-academic level--although I
wouldn't put Dorn here), I feel like I'm always on the defensive trying to
justify work that "doesn't make sense" to many people. I really didn't
mean to take it out on you. I guess I was slightly over-exuberant in my
desire to make one more defense of poetry.

At any rate, I really liked your last reply; it has given me alot to think
about in terms of how I position this poem. It has spurred me to look
further into the poem's reception, as well as rethinking my comparison of
it to protest poetry. (BTW, I think that there is much overt protest
poetry--if I can use those terms--that is as rigorous and complex as Dorn,
although I don't know if I think any of that is "foundational"). Finally,
I think you are right to look at this poem as political because even Dorn's
politics sometimes gets very thinly veiled in his verse. I only hope that
others can see our point that poetry that does not literally say "protest"
can still be political poetry.

So, please, accept my apology. However, I am glad that we have put Dorn
"on the map" of this discussion. Perhaps others will join us.
Best wishes,

Grant Jenkins