Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Question

I've been noticing that my U.S. friends use the term "scholar," often when speaking of poets, much more than my Canadian friends do. You know, like "poet A is a Zukofsky scholar." Do we just use a different term? Do we read our forebears differently? less academically? less seriously? Or does it have something to do with that speech by Emerson?

Do you consider yourself a scholar of anything?

I'm curious.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

gees. 'scholar' is such a weighty word. feels like i shd be able to teach a class on a poet if i dare to identify myself as a scholar of said poet.

that said, i suppose i might say i'm a scholar of certain POEMS...
Spring Night by Hagiwara Sakutaro
Sonnet XXXVII by Ted Berrigan
RUSH by Caroline Bergvall
Identity a Poem by Gertrude Stein
Switching by Juliana Spahr
Rupture, Verge, and Precipice by Carole Maso
etc.

and perhaps i'm a scholar of Jason Christie and Jill Hartman.

but really, sounds awfully academic, doesn't it? i'd rather say i LOVE their work or it totally turns me on or some such jazz.

what abt you, mark?

a.raw

6:59 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey, Angela,

Yeah, I think I might be a scholar of certain gestures in certain poems, which, in my confident moments, I think I extend somehow (e.g., the bare ambiguity in Nelson Ball's "On the Lake," the play with and against normative grammar in Clark Coolidge's "a ark bust a writ tin"). There are gestures in other poems I work in opposition to. Of course I'm aware of other stuff going on in these and other poets' work, but I'm pushing myself these days to move a little further outside myself and to read less pragmatically.

I wonder too if "scholar" is like "freedom," which is used very differently in U.S. and Canadian English (most versions thereof anyway) I think.

Mark

9:01 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I guess that should read "most versions I've heard anyway."

9:58 PM  

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