July 24th, 2013 / 6:52 pm

In case you missed it, this piece in the Boston Review today is causing quite a stir on the interwebs: Against Conceptualism: Defending the Poetry of Affect. Bringing it into this sphere. Curious to hear thoughts from readers?


  1. J.M. Gamble

      The fundamental flaw here is his assumption that poetry is a single-faceted entity. I can’t imagine anyone who has read Sharon Olds’s Stag’s Leap or Trethewey’s Native Guard or Thrall would say that poetry lacks affect—lacks, as he says, “anger, fear, joy, crippling shame, jealousy, grief—emotions that bear on a vital self-regard.” This article (and most of the “Oh no! Poetry is dead! I miss the good-old days of 1798! Where is Lyrical Ballads when you need it?” type articles) is the equivalent of walking into a McDonald’s and saying “I can’t believe this restaurant doesn’t serve steak. The restaurant business has really taken a bad turn.”

  2. Scott Riley Irvine

      Everything he said.

  3. Logan Fry

      Where in the essay does Bedient suggest that poetry is a single-faceted entity?

      Isn’t it abundantly clear that he’s singling out a certain type of contemporary poetry (the title should give a clue) and delineating its flaws?

  4. Jeremy Hopkins

      No one has ‘won’ so everybody gets to keep ‘playing’.

  5. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      lol bhanu.