Here is a bad bit of light verse published in this morning’s New York Times:
Here is the Facebook pile-on by poets, some nationally renowned, that ensued. We rose up to defend the shade of John Ashbery and the immortal values of poetry:
It goes on much longer. An umbrage orgy. Here’s why it’s embarrassing for us and for poetry:
It was the NYT opening its pages to an ordinary reader. A non-specialist.
No one (including, at first, me) thought to check – everyone just leapt at the chance to pummel this light verster into submission to our post-modernity. It’s high-minded bullying. How are poets going to be critics of the culture if we succumb this easily to its ugliest temptations?
P.S. And here, of course, am I, doing meta-umbrage, its own temptation.