Sunday, September 09, 2007

What is a prairie poet

...asks Tracy Hamon in her latest post. Good question. For a while after I read "Post-Prairie Poetics: A Dialogue," Jon Paul Fiorentino and Robert Kroetsch's introduction to Post-Prairie in which they refer to Cooley's essay "The Vernacular Muse in Prairie Poetry," I felt like the leftover shepherd's pie of prairie poetry. I haven't read Cooley's “Placing the Vernacular: The Eye and the Ear in Saskatchewan Poetry” to which Tracy refers in her post, but it sounds like I write "eye" poems. Ah, me and my rural eye. Whatever. Call me a prairie poet. Call me whatever you like. I'm just happy I'm past the shepherd's pie feeling.

6 comments:

Kimmy said...

i'm gonna stick to my self-proclaimed designation of "Indoor Poet."

Brenda Schmidt said...

Brilliant! If you're an "Indoor Poet" I could call myself an "Outdoor Poet." Mind you, Outdoor Poet sounds a bit too close to outdoor toilet...

pohanginapete said...

I like neither labels nor dualisms, and Cooley's classification seems to be both. Your response — "whatever" — sums up mine pretty well. If it helps you write better, fine; perhaps some people might like the sense of identity it confers ("Ah, I'm a prairie poet"), but that carries risks.

Mmm.. shepherd's pie...

Brenda Schmidt said...

I agree, Pete. I'm not an academic or a critic, so I don't usually worry too much about such things. To write better is my priority. And having a few loyal, like minded readers to whom I can show new work would be ideal.

sms said...

I think I emailed you this already, but I personally prefer my shepherd's pie slightly leftover... it like spaghetti or fish pie, always tastes better a day later.

as far as indoor, outdoor, whatever... do we have any real choice in the matter anyway? all I know is I've tried to give this writing thing up at times, but it's like breathing, an involuntary action, and attempts at ambivalence are fruitless

perhaps because I'm not an academic though, I get a slightly panicked feeling when I do read the theory of the form... whatever...

Brenda Schmidt said...

Well, if the shepherd's pie feeling returns, I'll keep that in mind. :)

I do enjoy reading and thinking about these things, just to be aware of the conversation. And on days when I want to feel like more of an outsider, I'll just apply a label and look across the fence. Come to think of it, I'm an eye with lots of ears as friends. An outside poet who hangs around with inside poets. A rural writer at a table of urban writers. Good grief, I'm starting to have city mouse, country mouse flashbacks...