Thursday, 11 June 2009

Good-natured poet

In today's on-line Globe and Mail, Paul Vermeersch raves about This Way Out, Carmine Starnino's new collection of poems from Gaspereau. There is no question he likes the book: "infectious bounce and thwack of his lines," "a sensory-rich tour," "free-wheeling and playful," "adroit internal rhymes," "craftsmanship of profound dexterity."

However, Vermeersch strongly feels there is a contradiction between Starnino's public persona as a critic ("tenacious provocateur") and his work ("he puts his creative money where his critical mouth is"). Vermeersch asks, "Is this as it should be?" (What kind of question is that?) Vermeersch prefers the "good-natured poet, full of beans." to what he calls the critic of "stringent critical dogma." Without debating the merits of his comments, or detracting from his wonderful review of the book, from my point of view, who cares? Isn't it only the poetry that really counts?

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