Friday, April 17, 2009

Playing with Muse & Drudge

Muse & Drudge was wonderful. Simply. Wonderful. It practically pulsed with rhythm. i felt like it was a really quick read - the text propelled down the page. And Mullen's language is very playful; exuberant even.
tomboy girl with cowboy boots
takes coy bow in prom gown
your orange California suits
you riding into sundown
This has got to be one of my favourite stanzas, mostly because it sounds an awful lot like me (i wore cowboy boots with my prom dress). The language here is fanastic - tomboy/cowboy/coy bow.

Along with the text, i read a couple of critical articles by Mullen. i was struck by her accusation of minority writing being pigeonholed in "Poetry and Identity": there are avant garde writers, and coloured writers, but anthologists and critics tend to ignore avant garde writers of colour. i can understand the problem: anthologies and critics both categorize writing. There is a taxonomy inherent in collections of writing, and people who cross cateogories are difficult to include. When reading a text for the first time, unless its anthologized, i tend not to know much about the author until afterwards. But anthologies have a huge impact on what poets are taught, which are given a place in the cannon. So how can we avoid this kind of rigid separation of "types" of writers? Very few writers are "only" feminist, or experiemental, or anything at all. Do anthologies, by their very nature, undermine our understanding of an author's complexity - both personal & textual?

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