Michael Gottlieb / Letters to a Middle-Aged Poet / 6


What if our reaction to all that is going on around us is not some cringe-worthy, pathetic attempt to climb aboard an express that has left the station several decades after we had our own tickets once and forever punched, but, instead, something else?

Perhaps our posture should be one of welcoming. Maybe we should be able to get it together to write some positive criticism, a supportive review or two. We could even assume, or presume, the mantle of a champion. Let’s not dismiss such a possibility out of hand. But what if the reaction, our reaction, is different? Speciously curmudgeonly? Angry, vexatious, rejectionist? What if our response is a frankly hostile, knee-jerk dismissal of whatever it is that naturally – some might say – quite naturally, comes after what we ourselves in our youth, in our own day, served up to the world?

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