What poetry cannot be taught

Posted on July 7, 2010

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Why is whatever you would teach dead? I mean in so far as it is impossible to teach because you cannot teach desire? But for example poets learn from other poets; and what else could they do? And didn’t Thom Gunn learn from Yvor Winters?

The act of self-teaching is a fraught one, because you have to know exactly what you want to learn, in some sense, and then you have to pursue that object without let-up and without becoming a victim of self-deception.

If in some sense writing is self-teaching then a clear concept of self-learning is needed.  And an idea too that it is not just about self-teaching.  That this is all part of a social order.

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