Bad Guys and poetry:

In response to the question, “Can a bad man be a good poet?” there are only two things to be said: “Yes” and “obviously.” In part, that’s because the poetry world sets the bar fairly low for “badness” — when we say a poet was a “bad man,” we don’t mean that he was a shotgun-toting, baby-kicking monster; we mean that he was unpleasant, disturbed, or a jerk. And considering that poetry’s history is thick with unpleasant, disturbed jerks, the question would seem to answer itself.

He does, in fact, get around to talking about Anne Sexton for about two lines, but only to insist that it’s impossible for a reader to “see themselves” in Sexton’s poems, so it’s different, somehow, to be shocked by her… I’m wondering if he means “a reader” to be “a male reader like me.” Huh.

via Julian

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