poetry, quotes

practicing the art at its highest levels

“When we lose sight of greatness, we cease being hard on ourselves and on one another; we begin to think of real criticism as being “mean” rather than as evidence of poetry’s health; we stop assuming that poems should be interesting to other people and begin thinking of them as being obliged only to interest our friends — and finally, not even that. Perhaps most disturbing, we stop making demands on the few artists capable of practicing the art at its highest levels.”

– David Orr, “On Poetry: The Great(ness) Game,” NYT via Jason at Bookslut, with a roundup of naysayers to all this greatness-is-so-great business.
(Addendum: I finally looked at poet-critic Jason’s own blog, and he turned me on to Dropbox, an app for syncing documents. Now that’s some greatness. )