Friday, June 27, 2008

A Fatted Calf

Yesterday's post made me sound like an elitist jerk, something I never want to be. Again, quoting a little from Kim Stafford's book about his father: "That was it. There was an aristocracy of creation. Membership was absolute, but available. Forceful people were excluded, the proud, the pretenders, excluded because they declined "to be willingly fallible in order to find their way." But anyone who told their own puzzling story could be in the circle. Anyone who paid attention by writing or speaking their own truth could be Caesar of the vast, fragile empire of one life, and championed."

I believe that anyone "who pays attention by writing or speaking their own story" should be included and championed in whatever "circle" of aristocracy there might be. I know that here, in my town, and maybe in yours as well, there exists a chasm between the university poets, the educated, those who have a degree, and the ordinary town poets. Bill Stafford was always "an includer." Everybody was welcomed to the party, met with robes and rings and a fatted calf. That's the way it should be.

(painting: The Prodigal Son, by Gerrit van Honthosrt, 1622)


January said...

I didn't think you sounded like an elitist at all. Poetry is open to anyone who wants to take part in it. And both you and Stafford are of an inclusive nature.

I don't think you can be a poet/blogger and not be inclusive.

Kay said...

I beg your pardon? I beg to differ with your opening statements. As if you could ever sound like an elitist! You Joyce, are an inclusive person. So there!

blythe said...

Wow--incredible posts, and I've got to read up on William Stafford! Like the previous commenters, I didn't catch a whiff of elitism. But I think it's a good thing to be guarded against... plus, in my humble opinion, the best writing is simple and accessible and still awesome.

paisley said...

i think this is one of the very reasons i am so happy in the online poetry community,, there are some elitists,, but thank god they are too good for me and keep to themselves...

we are all equal here,, there is no hierarchy of education, or publication or what have you,, since we are all in essence
ghosts" everyones work is just out there,, to be read, to be enjoyed to be shared..

wendy said...


The last 2 posts really spoke to ways that have absolutely NOTHING to do with poetry..

Well now, isn't that poetic.

You are anything but a jerk. You are one of my favorite voices in the dark.

Thank you.

Jo said...

Yes, there are aren't there Paisley *grin*........I don't think you sounded elitist either.

anthonynorth said...

I applaud this post. A democracy of words is a good thing.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

I'm glad I don't sound like a jerk. Thank you all for your comments.