Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So I was having a conversation with my friend, JC, who just says the timeliest things. We were talking about our favorite artists and singers and how sometimes they go through “lost periods.”

We want our faves to grow and change—but not too much. Take, for example, U2’s POP album. Not the band’s best-received album, but without it, they may never have given us All That You Can’t Leave Behind, which was an incredible album.

I’ve been thinking about this in terms of poets who go through lost periods. Allen Ginsberg comes to mind. Anne Sexton, too. There are others (trying not to name too many names). Sometimes, a poet will have a meteoric rise with a few really fine collections, but not be able to sustain that success (success being a relative term) throughout a career. Why is that? Is it because the poet publishes the work before it is ready, or does not have a good editor who knows when to say no? Or maybe it’s time to move on to fiction.

Can a poet leave the source of what makes him/her great without leaving behind their audience?


For the record, I love all of U2’s albums, no matter what phase they’re in.

U2 - Discotheque by Hakunamatata67

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