Come on people, calm down a little! At the end of the day it's just poetry, the birds are still singing and people have different opinions. Sheesh. I wasn't saying Dale isn't a great poet, I was just talking about one collection which I had some reservations about. And so I wanted to work through those reservations, which I'm allowed to do I suppose, just as Dale is allowed to write whatever poetry he likes, and lots of people love his poems, and that's fantastic for him! One opinion doesn't stifle necessary poetic diversity: it's just one opinion.
And may I also just requote here my end to the review?
It is necessary to point out that this critique in no way constitutes a condemnation of Smith’s book. Many readers apparently do not feel the same reservations, the same dissatisfaction as I do for the type of impressionistic exposition I feel Smith often represents. Perhaps these other readers see, in such personal ephemera, an intimate reflection of their own lives. But I look to poetry for the development of ways of thinking, seeing and being, which go beyond that of the record. Smith no doubt feels this is also his poetry’s aim, and sometimes this is evident. I would simply liked to have seen Smith let loose his poetic gifts, giving them a more open and free range, and thus making such records obey a more total style and vision.
Now, excuse me while I get back to eating my creme caramele with my Louis 14th cutlery in my really jolly spiffing loft looking over the Tuileries. I do think I'll have a break from reviewing for a while. But maybe I'll write some more, just as soon as I finish these stock-option portfolios and fire a few more of those lazy servants...