Friday, July 25, 2008

Adventures on Google

Alright, so I am going to be doing a new thing here, and well, let's just "Fuck this duck" shall we? Basically I am going to be going on Google with a selected phrase and am going to see what I find, and if I agree with it.

Today's phrase is going to be "Overrated Poem" I would suspect that most of the top hits would be for the Waste Land, The Raven, The Cantos, something by Robert Frost, something by Shakespeare, after all, to be overrated, means to be held in high esteem, by someone, somewhere.

The first one is a review in Reason Magazine of Hitchen's review of the Waste Land. I should have figured. The reviewer makes light of Eliot's conversion to Anglicism when all the cool spiritually tormented people were moving into the Catholic camp. An interesting take on his life I suppose, seeing Eliot's religious movement as Prufrockian.

The next is from one "pixdogg" with a poem entitled, "Hell is overrated." Certainly this poem itself could not be considered overrated. Who would rate it so high? the only response is from ClericOffHis Light, who says, "And you say that my poems r deep! lol"

Here is a sample:

"Melting flesh off bone/No one has a home/Everyone feels alone/This is what everyone strives for/Not knowing what their in for"

Nice rhyming "for" and um..."for."

Then we have Poetry Snark's The 10 Most Overrated Poets, and although I agree with the names on there as being overestimated in their talent, I do think that since almost half of them are not known, even among poetry aficionados, then they don't count. "Boring?" Yes. But some degree of renown is required for being overrated. being British Poet Laureate would do it, but being American Poet Laureate does not, simply because people forget who they are, one is leaving it seems as soon as another one is coming in.

And there is the wonderful Dan Schneider, who of course would have to show up on any search of this nature. Here he "edits" Robert Frost's poem "Birches." I'm not really enough of a fan of Frost to be offended, or to appreciate the edits. In fact I'm not much of a fan, but I respect the man and Mr. Schneider's cause, even if at times it can seem obsessive.

There is an essay that briefly mentions Wordsworth's "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Earliest Childhood," as an overrated poem, no not just that, "much overrated." I agree with that. Wordsworth and the romantics never did much for me, perhaps because despite the emotion they wanted to put into the verse, for feeling's sake, the poetry becomes very repetitive and is usually too long. But the essay is a about teaching children morality without a grounding in religion, which I'm all for any day of the year.

Sherry Chandler brings up the Hitchen's quote, but talks about the story of Madison Cawein, a little known poet, who probably inspired the title of the Waste Land, and some of its lines and images, as well as parts of "Prufrock." One of his poems is even posted on the site.

Perhaps this is the most depressing site. I got onto it because it mentions William Carlos Williams as an overrated writer and his poem 'The Red Wheelbarrow." Personally I think Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is better. The mention is part of an outline for students at USF Health. I guess what gets me is how 1# there can be a way to so accurately play the system, so that it can be put up online, 2# how ethics is hardly taught in depth, 3# Generally how rote the whole college experience there seems. Structure is good, but predictability ruins an education like nothing else. It also lists places to eat and drink, including bars. I wonder if they card.

Well, that's the end of our adventures. It seems I was fairly accurate in my predictions, though Shakespeare did not come up. I forgot about WCW bashing as well.

Here was the #1 image: