Poetic Power Essay

Poetic Power Essay-24
The phrase “equipment for living” is taken from Kenneth Burke, who also wrote that form is “a public matter that symbolically enrolls us with allies who will share the burdens with us.” Robbins likes this. Reading poems is normally a solitary pastime, and so is a lot of music listening, except at concerts, where the emotions aren’t really your own. The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” once an anthem of antiwar protesters, is played at Trump rallies.I think it means that the experience of poems and songs is shared with other people, even if often implicitly, and so it can be a means of achieving solidarity. I assume it instills feelings of solidarity among his supporters.

The phrase “equipment for living” is taken from Kenneth Burke, who also wrote that form is “a public matter that symbolically enrolls us with allies who will share the burdens with us.” Robbins likes this. Reading poems is normally a solitary pastime, and so is a lot of music listening, except at concerts, where the emotions aren’t really your own. The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” once an anthem of antiwar protesters, is played at Trump rallies.I think it means that the experience of poems and songs is shared with other people, even if often implicitly, and so it can be a means of achieving solidarity. I assume it instills feelings of solidarity among his supporters.With aesthetic experience in general, after a certain age, the effects are probably as much a product of what you bring to it as what you get from it.

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But his own politics are Occupy-era politics, and he naturally wants to put his views together with his tastes.

The teen-ager’s enthusiasm for Def Leppard must in some way belong with the mature man’s concerns about income inequality.

Hyperbole is an ever-present danger up there on the high-low tightrope.

What helps the critic keep his or her balance is the acknowledgment that it hyperbole, that there is a rhetoric of aesthetic experience—the experience of reading poems or listening to songs we’re strongly attached to—that is always in excess of the actual content.

I figured I would dip into its pages and refresh my recollection of the field of play.

Many hours later, I had to force myself to put the thing down.“Aesthetic life is a sphere of self-directed activity whose external ramifications, despite periodic utopian exuberances, are minimal at best,” Robbins concludes (somewhat contradicting his “community” theory). Are we past the days when people wrote poetry and read it for encouragement and guidance, the days when poetry was not merely a “self-directed activity” but was writing —“The Vigil,” by Henry Newbolt.By the end of the year, at least two anthologies of war poetry were out, “Poems of the Great War” and “Songs and Sonnets for England in War Time.” Many would follow.The rest of us need German poetry and Norwegian black metal because they provide the illusion that we are changing, or have changed, or will change, or even to change our lives.” I don’t completely agree, but it’s a wise caution. I enjoyed almost all of “Equipment for Living,” but I found Robbins most clever and entertaining when he is trying to make sense of what redeems bands like Journey and Def Leppard, or poets like Dylan Thomas and James Dickey.Another advanced-pop premise is that everything is happening now. E., but when you open it there is a letter inside, and it’s just for you. Those are artists who now seem obviously gassy or fatuous—“Like a mammoth wheel of Monterey Jack left in the sun” is Robbins’s description of Journey’s hit song “Only the Young.” And he often decides that what redeems such works is that they once spoke to him, even if they don’t anymore.The book is a collection of mostly previously published pieces, some on poetry, some on pop music, some on both, written, as the names suggest, in a critical style that could be called advanced pop.Advanced-pop criticism would be criticism premised on the belief that you can talk about cultural goods loved uncritically by millions in terms originally developed to talk about cultural goods known mainly to an overeducated few.And, in fact, a surprising amount of pop-music criticism is bottled nostalgia, owls that fly at dusk.In preparation for writing about “Equipment for Living,” I got a copy of “Shake It Up” (Library of America), an anthology of fifty years of pop-music criticism, “from Elvis to Jay Z,” edited by Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar.Partly it’s because pop-music journalism arose out of the intersection of early rock-and-roll magazines like , when they still had an alternative-press aura, and the New Journalism, with its promiscuous use of the first person, and that gave it a confessional tone and a voice that suggested that we’re all on the same side in the struggle, whatever struggle it is.But rock criticism does appear to be fixated on what has been lost. It seems that in the pop-music business the shelf life of authenticity is tragically short.

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