Hayden Carruth

[Yvor] Winters is able to prove—demonstrate irrefutably with step-by-step arguments and copious illustrations from line and stanza—that our favorite poets are idiots, and in the process show us just why we like them so much.


A poem is an existent; it has the same status as a pebble or a galaxy. It has no relationship to nature, but only to other existents within nature. And what I think is that any work of art not informed by a bold and determined regard for this equivalency and its effects is deficient intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, and cannot speak to the discerning contemporary sensibility. Let the fundamentalists rage. Poets are quiet seekers unwilling to be deluded.

—Hayden Carruth,“The Nature of Art”(1993)

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