And so my song continues. Week 8: Selected Poems, Seán Ó Ríordáin.
Writing critically about poetry is a doomed effort. By that, I don’t grant anyone license to shirk their responsibilities and be (gasp!) critically intemperate. Rather, there’s no way to talk about poetry that doesn’t end up becoming a stream of words that are absolutely inimical to appreciating the thing being examined. The closest example I can think of would be to cut up a painting into thousands of pieces and then laying them end-to-end to try and recreate the original. Poetry is one of those things that suffers from over-examination, like pictures of yourself from high school or the nutritional qualities of a Chipotle burrito. A good poem (whatever that is) stands on its own, its qualities apparent, while a bad poem gets tossed in the garbage, where it can stink quietly, out of sight.