Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer in the City

In Psychology Today, Susan K. Perry recalls an epistolary exchange with our recession-proof US Poet Laureate.  Philip Levine writes about poetry & horse racing, dismissing the concepts of "muse" and "flow" in favor of the "presence of the total self."  His economical words on the subject of bootstraps poetics may offer a bit of refreshment to one who has spent too many hours this summer contemplating the poetics of the debt ceiling.  And indeed, Levine's staple verse might represent not only our current socioeconomic moment but also the aesthetics (artistic, commercial & pop-cultural) of that moment--an aesthetics that may be, at least in the poetic case, imported from Detroit.