I believe the contemporary poet must have some of the character qualities depicted above. A friend of mine sent me an email about my November 19th post. Here was my reply: I think you are completely right. I was just throwing some ideas out there. But I certainly believe good poetry is ostensive in that it points to things and then leaves. Instead of telling a linear story it says:
Here is this
Let the reader piece it all together -that is the fun in reading poetry. Also, I truly believe any poet writing today must believe she is sincerely better, at expressing the current condition, than any predecessor, if not, then what is the point of reading contemporary poetry. Of course, as you say: why should the contemporary poet think she is better if she is only adding "changing" the canon? Here is a question: Is Einstein a "better" physicist than Isaac Newton? I think a lot of people would say the question is nonsensical, because the two geniuses shouldn't be compared. I agree, but I also think that when a contemporary artist (be she scientist, poet, pastry chef, etc.) must truly think that what she is doing is the best, better than anything before her.