Thursday, December 09, 2004


I'm going to comment on Tristens website because it completely changed my point of view on a number of things. goes. I appreciate what he said about the war on terror. Up until recently, I have had a negative perspective on the issue. Now, due to the insight of one of my collegues, my own personal opinion that was craving for support, has been enlightened. I've never thought about the war in a Biblical sense. I do read the Bible a lot and it never occured to me that the angels, who were sent from God, created war to spread peace. It made me think that yes, we are doing the right thing in Iraq. Our buisness is their buisness because peace and harmony and the love of God should be granted to all people. The only way that we can achieve peace is to show we care about our freedom as a nation and people of this world. "Power" and "Greed" are roots of evil and I feel that if we can be an independant nation, it's important to show other countries the same. We can't sit back and let the evil things of this world corrupt us. We need to do something about it. This ties into what Nancy's paper topic was about. We need to take action and stop standing around. If no one shows what's right, the entire world will end up fighting against one another for one thing-Power. We aren't in Iraq to show that we are powerful, but we are there for human kind and to erase the evil corruption that has taken place and will expand if we don't do something about it.
On a lighter note, I appreciated what Tristen had to say about literary criticism. I too agree that it is a way to get to the next level of analysis. Now, I don't feel so dumb about saying something without having evidence to prove it. Now I know how to create that evidence to a different level and I "won't feel like someone with a personal opinion without a clue as to why I formed that opinion."
On the issue of abortion: I don't think it's relevant to the class. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but how far you take that opinion without the consideration of your audience in mind, is inconsiderate. I'm not going to say a lot about it because I think the topic has been touched on enough. I do know this-people should be aware of how material affects other people. You need to take your audiences feelings into consideration before you put pictures on the web-sometimes the extreme is not o.k.
With this being said-this has been one of my most precious classes in my college career. I have a deeper analysis of the world and am able to read "everything as a text." It has also changed my view in a more multiculturally. I'm going to leave you with a quote that reminds me why this class is so important. It's by Chris Cullinan, a Professor at Oregon Universtiy:

It is easy to see yourself in company with others like yourself. It is easy to believe by looking out your largest "windows" on the world, that everyone else has the same advantages you do. It is easy to igonore the little windows in the back of the house, and the voices that may intrude upon you from time to time, telling you that not everyone enjoys your panorama."
Thank you and have a wonderful year!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

MSU Bookmark

Making adjustments on the bookmark is difficult because their is no right or wrong opinion. However, we all are entitled to our own opinion and therefore I'm going to make a few comments on what I would like seen done with the bookmark. I've only read about a quarter of the books in MSU canon. So, it's hard for me to make drastic changes. I do have a couple suggestions though. First of all, I think that the Bible should be the number one book. Why do I think this? The Bible is the number one read book around the world. It teaches us how to "live the well lived life." The Bible and the word of God is my inspiration. He is the author of the world. Why shouldn't we put his word first? He is that is and he is his word. In addition, the majority of the authors always make reference to the Bible and feed off of it. It seems to me to be their number one influence, why shouldn't it be ours? Secondly, I think we should take "The Art of Memory" off the canon. First of all, I consider it more of a science book than anything. The only influence it has made in my life is that it has given me a short-cut to memorizing things. That's it. It has not influenced my view of the world, nor has it made me understand myself and others like a number of other authors have. I vote to take it off!

Group #5

As you all are aware of, I was part of group five. I played the characters of Poe, and Jane Tompkins. My group was in charge of psychoanalysis, pop-culture, romantics, and gender/sexualtiy. We decided to incorporate the "dating game" and Freud because it is pop-culture and Freud is all about psychoanalysis. The capitolone credit card scene and Ben's MSU top 100 books were both commercials to incorporate pop-culture as well. We decided to do Survivor because it involves a romantic atmosphere, which is prime for the romantic era. We decided to play various roles throughout the film . We were ourselves, our critics, and authors we never discussed in class like Poe. Let me just say this: working with all of my group members was great and I learned a lot from each of them. Great job guys!

How this class has influenced me

When I signed up for Dr. Sexson’s Literary Criticism course, the first thought that ran through my mind was, “Oh good, what am I getting myself into? How am I going to be a literary critic?” My second thought was, “Now I will be able to distinguish the difference between good literature and bad literature.” Now, having completed the course, I have found that my expectations of literary criticism have changed. This course has not taught me to decipher the good poets from the bad, but rather, it has taught me to accept literature for what it is and most importantly, it has taught me that there is no right or wrong way to create and evaluate literature.
Over the course, I have learned that it is difficult to compare and contrast one work from another because the value of a piece of work is accepted and responded to differently. Every author that we have covered from Plato to Derrida has influenced my way of thinking. I have agreed and disagreed with some of their ideas, but I have come to realize that the combination of all the critics has influenced my opinion tremendously.
When I first read T.S. Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent, I agreed with the majority of what he had to say. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself reading it again. When I read it for the second time, I became critical of what he had to say. After a third reading, I became passionately angry with him. This passage by Eliot, despite the fact that I disagree with some of his ideas, has made me reach a revolution in my college career. I have discovered that there is no right or wrong way to rank the value of a piece of literature, and as a result I have chosen to write the majority of this paper in response to what he has to say.
Eliot claims, “We dwell with satisfaction upon the poet’s difference from his predecessors, especially his immediate predecessors. We endeavor to find something that can be isolated in order to be enjoyed.” I find this statement to be true. Each piece of work is different from the rest and its difference is the result of the author’s individual uniqueness. Each author’s style is the result of a combination of things: culture, family, childhood, acquaintances, influences etc…all influence the way an author writes. They write, as Eliot mentions, with “their own generation in [their] bones.” Because of these influences, each author’s experiences are dissimilar and as a result, the value of a piece of work should not be measured in comparison with prior works. An author and their work does not have to be compared and contrasted to traditional work in order to be valued and appreciated, but rather their creation should be valued for what it is and how it influences people individually. Therefore, judging a piece of work solely by comparison, oppresses its value.
Literary judgment, I have discovered, is not universal. It is a personal opinion. Since judgment is a personal opinion, it is impossible to say that a piece of work does or does not conform to the set standard. Moreover, a universal judgment, or ranking of a piece of work, is not valid because each critic, reader, scholar, etc…is influenced differently. Therefore, the standards that measure value are created in such a way that it oppresses our sense of evaluation and forces us to compare a piece of work to former pieces, which already contain a fixed value.
An author is aware of the “existing order” of prior works as Eliot mentions, but I do not agree that an author should be influenced by the “difficulties and responsibilities” (Eliot 1093) that have been set before them by prior authors. They should feel free to write without being manipulated with the standard. If they write without this constructed standard in mind, they will be writing from the heart. A work should be original and not created in order to seek the approval of critics.
I believe that originality is created through the expression of feelings and as William Wordsworth said, “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” Therefore, poetry, or literature is an expression of feelings-not an “escape”(Eliot 1097). An author is incapable of escaping emotion, because emotion and feeling is part of the foundation in which a piece of work is created. Without emotion and feeling, authors would lack motivation to write. Eliot states, “The emotion of art is impersonal” (Eliot 1098). The emotion of art is anything but impersonal, because emotion itself is personal. As we all know, emotion is un-escapable; therefore, any author who writes composes with emotion in their bones. Writing and spilling your guts on a sheet of paper is a surrender and sacrifice of yourself. Only when you do this can you take of your “straight jacket” (Tompkins ). Writing in the way in which we speak reveals the personal side of who we truly are.
Experience is the root of originality and as Eliot states, “The poet should operate upon the experience of the man himself.” Experience not only influences what an author writes, but it influences their audience as well. When I encounter an author who’s “experience’s line up with mine” as Jane Tompkins would say, I enjoy nothing more. Relating to an author in a personal way makes me crave what they have to say. I read further and further until I feel fulfilled. This fulfillment impacts my perception of the world around me. With this statement in mind, I asked myself a serious question, “Why does literary fulfillment impact my view of the world?”
I pondered on this question for some time and finally I came to the conclusion that literature fulfills me in many different ways. It fulfills me in that I know who I am, I can understand myself and others, and I can make wiser decisions. Literature has also taught me to value the opinions of others, because what they have to say may influence my life forever.

Individual Presentations

He believes that the statement "The only truth is that there is no truth" is contradictory and false.
Truth exists
"Poets are the legislatiors of the world" -Shelly
Viewed the Pepsi can as a poem because "everything is a text"-Derrida
We need to reform the educational system because 20-30 million people can't read or write
Literature can make us a better person. Wordsworth's "Ode to Mortality" helped him cope with his losses. He could also realte to Keats because poetry connects to us and the generation after us. Most of all, he was influenced by Hugh who believed the more we read, the closer we are to God-we should pick the berries from the page.
Literary criticism helps us lead a well lived life. We are consoled and find solitude in literature. It also allows us to see and understand the world differently. Language allows us to deconstruct and build it back up. Now, she can argue better and is more intelligent.
We learn how to interpret the world around us through mimetics. (Look at Walter Pater on pg 841). Romantics expressions are important and Wordsworths statement holds true "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings"
Author and reader interaction is important. Without emotion, a work is dry. Passion effects the audience. He doesn't agree with deconstruction because all the facets aren't true. Likes Emerson because the "well lived life" should be focused on the individual and emotion. Man should always be pursuing power.
Reader response is the ultimate criticism. Angel treetoppers rather than star treetoppers because an Angel is more beautiful to look at . We shouldn't be afraid to write what we think.
How do we define Literary Criticism? People say what they want to see. What is the real news? How do we decide what a "well lived life is?" Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal" says, " the best way to deal with children is to eat them." Literary criticism shows us the bigger picture and different ways to understand the world around us.
What is a well lived life? Actions change your life and start caring about the world you live in. Literary criticism is life and is a criticism of life-it inspires.
Focused on three aspects that Lit. Crit. has taught her: 1) solving a problems 2) choosing an interpretation 3) how to judge
However, she points out that we should incorporate all interpretations in order to live a well lived life.
Attitude and personality is influenced by lit. crit.
Created a play based on Hitler to demonstrate the heiarchy system
A well lived life is having more understanding. All theories give us a better interpretation.
Ispired by a passage from the "English Patient". Words are powerful tools. Lit. crit. lets us express our beliefs on cultural diversity. We need to take a step back from rhetoric. What are we writing for? Look at individuals for inspiration. What matters is the experiences we have gained.
Objectivity and immersement. How do you know if an author is good if your not immersed in the material?
A well lived life is a well informed life. Reading contributes to our lives by offering us experience. There is no correct way to read a text. Walt Whitman "we are vast and contain multitudes." Reader response is the first level, but it's important to look at all levels of interpretation. We read for fullfillment.
Insired by the book "Lord of the Flies"

Group Presentations

Group One: deconstructinists, classical criticism, enlightenment
Presenting: Coffee Talk with Linda Richmond
*All critics encourage to look at the canon in a different way
-Butler-we should favor all sexualities
-Barthes-because the author is dead to the text, he wants Beowulf on the canon
-Hugh-wants the Bible as the canon
-Linda Richmond-wants the complete works of Barbra Strisann(sp?)
-Bhaba-the caonon represents society
-Peacock-no poetry! against construction and post modernism, we should go back to the classics, Uncle Tom's Cabin by Stowe should be in the canon
Group Four: New historisists, poetry, enlightenment, defense of criticism
Judge Judy
(sorry guys, I missed most of your presentation goofing around with the VCR)
Group six: Reader response theory, realism
I loved the personal touch of this group. Their personal interaction with the class made me appreciate what they said and made me listen closely. Now, I want to read Catcher in the Rye(don't laugh, yes, I haven't read it yet) and Crime and Punishment. Listening how their books influenced their lives made me appreciate literature more. Good job guys!
Group two: Feminists, drama, medieval theory, authorship
Jung-wanted feminism included in the play
Tristen-pretended to be a woman
Amanda-represented medieval times
(That's all I remember-sorry I didn't take very good notes)
Group three: novel, reniassance, body
I enjoyed this presentation as well. I though incorporating the Christmas Carol was a marvelous idea. The idea of the combination of all the critics we have discussed is what influences us the most and helps us make wise choices in life. Good job guys!
Overall, I loved all of the presentations. Sorry I didn't have through notes on all of them.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Critics #4

Butler (Debbie Adams) 2485
-queer theorist
-gender and sexuality are labeled for us
-we shouldn't isolate the sexes

Cleanth Brooks (Murl) 1350
-post colonial
-"poetry is worth teaching"
-the text itself is what matters in Literary Crit.
Stanley Fish (Fishy Foo) Brian
-reader response critic
-the text is inside the reader
Greenblatt (Susan) 2250
-new historicist
-prefers poetics of culture
"the text is history, and history is textual"
-history is linked to language
Dryden (Daniel) 2250
-restoration dramatist
-the bookmark should consist of: The Bible and the Works of John Dryden
Jacques Derrida
-close reader of the text
-movement within the text is associated with new criticism
-everything is textual
-writing is superior to speech
-logocentrism=realism, words
-phonocentrism=speech is superior to writing
-pharmakon=drug, remedy, poison

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Individual Critics #3

Here's notes from presentations done on Tuesday the 9th:

Nietzche (Jamie)

-sprachkrise = the crisis of language
- truth is an illusion
- **Conquest of Literature is:
We must live by energy in life
**The truth is an army of metaphors

Terry Eagelton (Jamie) pg 2240

- literature concerns the social control of the middle and working class
- texts reproduce ideology rather than reflecting it
- see's English as an outgrowth of nationalism and a replacement for religion through ideology
- literature reinforces the dominant social order

Horace (J.R.) pg 121
- he is the "wet stone" that sharpens the knives
- poetry is a craft that has two objectives:
1) instruct 2) entertain
- decorum makes good poetry, which is unity
- a work must be beautiful-how?
* you can't add something that doesn't fit ( the "purple patch" idea -where certain things don't fit into a work)
* similar to how drama characters must fit their role
* must be naturally talented at poetry
* poets must not be afraid and they must start with the foundation of wisdom

de Beauvoir (Jennifer Harris) pg 1403
- she represents the female race as the second sex
- extreme feminist who's most famous work is "The Second Sex"
- women are the second sex because they have always been defined by man
- * we need to move beyond ananlysis of a woman that has been created for them "one is not born, but rather becomes"

Wimsatt (Megan) pg 1371
- language is most important
- structure and unity are important
- Meaning is not found within the author , but rather the text itself as meaning
- if a poet is successful, it will be in the meaning of the text
- emotion is connected to cognitive
- the meaning of a work doesn't have to do with the response, therefore, read closely
- International fallacy and affective fallacy

G & G Sandra and Suzie (Yoshie) pg 2020-2021

-feminist critics
- "Mad Women in the Attic"

Gates (Opai) pg 2421
*race as a text itself
-wants to preserve his race and resurrect books

Foucauilt (Andrea Lorenz) pg 1615
- de-constructionist
- discourse is textual material
- wrote "What is an author"
- ecriture(sp?) = creating an opening where writing unfolds
- signifier = a work which relates to something signified and then to an object (the word cat then a picture of a cat)
- an author is a function of discourse and gives a text a certain amount of quality
- "personal pronouns" point to the authors second self
- he wants to discenter the author from the literary universe

Benjamin (Kelly Maddock) pg 1167
- "One of the foremost tasks of art has always been the creation of a demand which could only be satisfied later"
-"aura" = the quality of a piece of work that is equal to that of a religious object
- art changes with mass production
- reproduction of art is a good thing and it changes as society changes

Peacock (Ed Shanley) 682 "Four Ages of Poetry"
-poetry is marginal
- historical events can't be compared to prose
-poetry is a useless subject that wastes our time
- authors should polish the notions set fourth by people, or maintain the same idea's, but change the language
-"If you read poetry, read classical poetry, or don't read it at all!

Schleiremocker (Lindsee Tauok(sp?)) pg 610

-hermeneutics= the understanding and interpreting discourse through systematic procedures
-understand the works better than its creator


-"attempted to create an interpretive system that could order and control hte proliferation of meanings attatched to the Bibles figurative language that reflects the widespread medieval tendency toward synopses"
-seek out the intention of the author first
-Words are like berries that we pop into out mouth

Bhaba (Katie) 2377
-canon is ethnocentric and the critic makes up the canon
-builds on philosophies of deconstructionists

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Hey guys - I thought this poem pertained to what I was saying in class about "taking off your straight jacket" when you write - Jane Thompkins (Mandy)

Individual Critics #2

Here's some notes I tried to jot down during everyone's speeches:

Nancy (can't remember who she was)
- we are all bi-sexual by nature


-We need to break away from traditional ties
- Nothing inspires like nature
- poetry should be written in the language we use daily
- poets in the future will be obliged to defend their activity opposed to scientists

Poe (Amanda)
To be a successful writer:
- when writing, start with the outcome you want to achieve
- have unity
- brevity should reflect the effect
- melancholy is the most legitimate of tones

Julia Kristeva (Cindy)

semiotic = science of signs
symbolic = domain of judgment and creates repressed writing
semanalysis = dissolves sign, linguistic analysis
intertextuality = every text transformed by other texts

Roland Barthes (Zack pg 1461)

-he is the text
-text is breath and life
-neurosis = gaining pleasure from a text
- let the author be suppressed so that language comes alive

Bakhtin (Dustin pg 1189)

What is the practicality of poetry?
- its impractical
- the written word is based on the spoken
- the novel portrays how dialogue is alive
- example: Beavis and Butthead (hilarious) has levels of tension

Vico (Tristen)

Poetic wisdom came from the simple man
1) Gods (fables)
2) Heroes (images)
3) Man (words agreed upon by aoll the people)

-imagination is the cause of poetic wisdom

Jane Thompkins

I will now regurgitate my speech I recited for you on Monday:

" The public-private hiearchy supplies our oppression as writers. I say to hell with it all! The reason we feel embarrassed to write or speak personally in a professional context is because I have and you have been conditioned to feel that way! That's all there is to it! I know most of you are scared to talk about yourselves. Why? Because you haven't the guts to do it! Ya know I love it when an author talks about themselves-don't you? Why? You feel connected to them! Your experiences as a person, writer, and student match up. Take into consideration this quote from Hawthorne:

When he casts his leaves forth upon the wind, the author addresses, not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him-it may be pardonable to imagine that a friend, a kind and apprehensive, though not the closest friend, is listening to our talk.

Hawthorne too notices that this "personal-relationship" between writer and audience is rare. Western epistemology is encouraged to believe that emotion should be excluding in the process of attaining knowledge. Women are weighed down and forced to be at bearers of emotion, while men repress it! The epistemic authority of women is therefore shut down! Ever since I was small, I have felt forced to act in a way that isn't me. No wonder I feel uptight! It's like wearing shoes that are too small!

Writing in another voice that's not familiar to us, except when we write, requires a lot of thought and revision because we want it to be perfect. Our own voice, the voice we truly know, is hard to express because its a voice we so seldom use because we have been convinced that it doesn't fit in.
I encourage you as English majors to write in a way that will reach out and steal someone's heart. You can't get behind the thing that casts the shadow: You cast the shadow. Self consciousness will not make us better than who we are.

Write as if you knew who was listening. The "other voice" writes as if no one was listening.
I encourage you to take off your straight jacket and take the road less traveled (as Frost says)."

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man"
Thank you
-Jane Thompkins

*Most of my information came from Jane Thompkins piece in The Norton Anthology titled Me and My Shadow and her book A life in School: What the Teacher Learned.
Jane Thompkins claims that contemporay theory lacks personal feeling and is therefore impersonal and distant from what is so called "personal criticism." Thompkins attended two universites-Bryn Mawr, where she received her B.A. in 1961, and Yale, where she received her Ph.D in 1966. During the 1970's, Jane became a popular figure who developed and expanded reader-response criticism. She taught at various universities along the way which includes: Hartford Community College, Temple University and later at Duke where she taught until 1998. Currently she is a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago in the education department.
In Jane's most popular work, Me and My Shadow, she writes criticism keeping her personal side at the fore-front. This essay illustrates how Jane combines the intellect with the professional.
She also has a subjective rather than objective approach to literary theory. She urges individuals, especially women, to bring out the way women feminists draw attention to themselves by whining and talking about how they are the weaker sex. Jane suggests that "theory itself, at least as it is usually practiced, may be one of the patriarchal gestures women and men ought to avoid." Professional writers are encouraged to oppress their persoanl life from entering their writing. As Thompkins states, and as I stated in my speech, " The public-private hiearchy is a founding condition of female oppression. I say to hell with it! The reason I feel embarrsessed at my own attempts to speak personally in a professional context is that I have been cnditioned to feel that way."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Here's our class notes from this morning:

Emerson (Brian)-*He's a transcendentalist (sp?)
*He's in search of the great American poet
*Poets are liberating and represent "freedom"
*The focus is on the artist
*"Man hopes and genius creates"
*We need to be writers of the present time
*"Doubt not, but persist"
*His painful secret= man is only half himself, the other half is expression*

Paul Dema(o)n (Becky)-*deconstructionist
*the system of language establishes unity and meaning
*a text is considered stable or unstable
*semeiology = the science of signs or
*philology = historical study of literature or
*texts are interpreted, therefore it's a process
*rhetoric = the art of discovering all the means of persuasion in any given case
**how is persuasion done?
1) invention
2) disposition
3) style
*interpretation is done through metaphors
**** how words mean, but how they mean*****
*repetition is important
*"ignorance of bliss"
*"Anxiety ends up not knowing where we'll end up"

Friedrich von Schiller (Katie)

*"Ode to Joy" was based of Schillers writing
*Wants to free our spirituality
*He loved music. He said " the muses drained me dry"
*"Against stupidity the very Gods themselves use it in vain"
**"In error only is their truth" (know for quiz perhaps!)
-maybe cultivate errors to find freedom

Tsvetan Todorob

*plot is broken up into clauses
*scheme of plot:
x violates Y, therefore y must punish x, therefore, x can't be punished.
y and either violate a law, or x doesn't deserve to be punished-x avoids
*patterns within the sequence is considered the theme
(Tristen commented that history makes up language)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

10/19/04 T.S Eliot and Woolfe

Class Notes:

For our individual presentations we need to know 1) how our person discusses criticism 2) it needs to be informative 3) be entertaining 4) embody your person 5) make it sublime

*Canon = a number of texts that have been measured and met standards-applied by traditional authors - persists that not everyone is right
* our standards are shaped by culture, peers, society, religion etc...
* we enter into the world with culture, therefore Eliot wants us to absorb tradition when


-both are modernists
-Eliot believed that art depersonalizes the artist. This quote is on page 1094
"What happens is a continual surrender of himself as he is at the moment to something which is more valuable. The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality" Know for quiz!

* We talked about how there was a cult during romanticism and the byronic hero. You can learn more about the Byronic hero at :

*According to Eliot, poetry is the extinction of personality

*Woolfe believes the work itself is important rather than gender. Check out what she says on page 1029 as Tristen pointed out:
"It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple; one must be woman-manly or man-womanly. It is fatal for a woman to lay the least stress on any grievance; to plead even with justice any cause; in any way to speak consciously as a woman".

Here's another passage from Eliot that Dr. Sexson pointed out on page 1094:
"Someone said:" The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did". Precisely, and they are that which we know".

Why are the metaphysical poets included in the canon? Because T.S. Eliot included them

Here's another quote from Eliot on page 1097 that may be important to remember!
" Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape fro emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things".

I was wondering if Wallace Stevens would agree with T.S. Eliot's idea of not being able to write unless you know the tradition of poetry? The reason I ask this is because if you take other poetry into consideration, are you the only creator of that work, or do the poets through history help create it for you such as Eliot's Wasteland ? Check out the wasteland at: