Jack Granath comments on the Dr. Joseph S. Salemi Interview conducted by
Thanks, Mike. I don't think I would last long in that arena, but I like
your defense of poetry as something any interested party can learn from and
enjoy. If it's not that, if it's just something for technicians to ponder
and autopsy, then it loses a lot of interest for me. I also like seeing a
rationalist come up against your commonsense insistence on the emotional
dimension of poetry. Dr. Salemi sometimes seems more like a champion of
Neoclassicism than of the classical literature he loves (or I should say
"approves," with Pope).
I do like his view that free verse and formal are fundamentally different
things. A lot of the ruckus behind that split is just a matter of
classification, in my opinion. If we grouped formal poetry with music and
talked about them as the metrical arts—well, we'd probably have a ruckus of a
different kind, but it might clear up some confusion about the divide between
free verse and formal. It might even make sense of the hybrids you refer
to. I just think that as long as meter remains Chapter 7 in the Intro to
Poetry Toolbox, coming in right after the chapter on onomatopoeia, it's bound to
As for the monarchical politics that Dr. Salemi favors, I just bounce away from
the majority of what he has to say because of that. So it's good to get a
window on it from time to time through an honest interview like this one.
To read the poetry of Jack Granath, please click his hyperlinked name above.