Lecture for an Empty Room
Fragments of a work-in-progress;
But I don’t get it, a reviewer might offer, so there must be a problem. Can’t you see the problem? Author, explain yourself. If you require an entry point into a poem or collection, then perhaps you need to shift or expand your experience as a reader. How is this the author’s responsibility? The author’s responsibility is to create compelling work utilizing the tools at their disposal, attempting occasionally to stretch the boundaries of the art; it is the reader’s responsibility to rise up to meet them. To meet the work on it’s terms. Why doesn’t this visual poem have fourteen lines? It is clearly failing as a sonnet. I mean, honestly. If you wish to aim for a career in the sciences, one would expect the student to examine the research.
There are books I’ve worked to understand through the process of reviewing that took more work than others. There are numerous works I didn’t initially understand, or see an entry point into what the work was doing. This is neither the fault of the author, editor or publisher. Honestly, reviewer/critic: do the work.