Monday, 17 September 2012

The New Measures

Over at The Urge, the book of the month is A.F. Moritz's The New Measures. Arguing that Moritz's new collection—his 16th—finds the Toronto poet at "the height of his relevance," Stewart Cole's review is an impassioned response to readers who might dismiss Moritz's poetry as "highfalutin, full of empty portent." Cole's enthusiasm, however, runs a little wild at the peroration:
It’s become fashionable in certain circles to pretend we’ve moved on from the potent mix of difficulty and seriousness that work like Moritz’s embodies, and to regard poetry that doesn’t ‘entertain’ us in a fairly immediate way as musty and/or indulgent. This attitude has helped lead to the current burgeoning of work dripping with showy metropolitanism and pop-cultural references, desperate to claim its relevance in negotiating our late-capitalist funhouse, but too often mistaking capitulation for critique. Moritz, on the other hand, simply doesn’t seem interested in the coveted proverbial ‘audience that doesn’t usually read poetry’, and his critique consists of ignoring our market-driven culture’s many hollow frivolities and instead cutting at the universal urgencies often obscured by such clutter.

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