how long should a poery book be? how long is long?

are MFAs -- among others -- trained to read books or individual poems? I certainly found it difficult to read entire books until several years after graduation, and still find it difficult --

no secret that most of the poems of yore that I'm digging up now are in very long (by our standards) formats -- this seemed to change from victorian / post victorian books (lots and lots of sonnets, ballads, common meter ditties) and modernist short volumes

but it is also something that seems to stunt a lot of popular opinion about poetry -- that if it is a long book of poems, they are tripe, and if it is a short book, it was easy to write

see my discussions earlier on this blog -- under I hate chapbooks -- shorter is easier for me to write -- or, conversely, I have single poems or "entries" in larger projects which are pamphlet to chapbook length, series, etc., but -- for example, Secret Kitty was supposed to be a chapbook, but to finish it, carry it out -- make it what it should have been without cutting it short etc. -- to make it a complete "node" as Kasey says -- it had to be its length...


Clifford Duffy said…
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