Who’s the Snark?

hunting the snarkEvery now and then I go and check out what’s new at Poetry Snark. The first time I stumbled into this blog I felt my blood begin to rise. All they seem to do is make fun of poets–serious, sincere, hard-working poets. They hold no punches. They are acerbic, clever, offensive, jerky, smirky, fresh and–at times–funny as hell. Which is not to say that I like them or would want my poetry snarked by them (then again…). But I have had a modest revelation thanks to their irreverence. I used to be a poetry snark, too. Deep down I still am, I suppose, because snarkiness never quite leaves you. Of course, I’ve realized that there are ways I prefer to use my energy other than snarking. The snark is always on the lookout for a bigger, more ruthless snark. A snark’s snark is far worse than his bite, because rule number one is that a snark is a frustrated critic. A critic is a frustrated artist, an artist is a frustrated human being and so on… When the snark begins to publish creative work he (or she) will often quit snarking, as snarking is usually a means to an end. So have no fear of the snark. There’s one lurking inside all of us somewhere. American Poets Abroad would like to offer a meek consolation to the snarked poet Samuel Menashe. We happen to think he’s a fine poet. And here’s hoping your poetry is good enough to get snarked!

The Shrine Whose Shape I Am

The shrine whose shape I am
Has a fringe of fire
Flames skirt my skin
There is no Jerusalem but this
Breathed in flesh by shameless love
Built high upon the tides of blood
I believe the Prophets and Blake
And like David I bless myself
With all my might
I know many hills were holy once
But now in the level lands to live
Zion ground down must become marrow
Thus in my bones I am the King’s son
And through death’s domain I go
Making my own procession

Samuel Menashe

8 Responses to “Who’s the Snark?”

  1. 1 coldfire January 3, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    thanks for the poetry.
    I really enjoyed it.

  2. 2 uspoetsabroad January 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Glad to hear it. Are you referring to Menashe or in general?

  3. 3 Borja January 5, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    I am not a farmer
    and you are no animal

    but some mornings
    I have farming in my soul

    and you, you know how to billy
    just like a goat.

  4. 4 uspoetsabroad January 6, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Borja, you didn’t write that little ditty, did you?

  5. 5 Borja January 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Nein, es tut mir leid. Ist von einem guten Freund.

  6. 6 uspoetsabroad January 7, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Clever boy!

  7. 7 Borja January 7, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Huuuummmmm, danke!

  1. 1 Who’s the Greatest Living Poet? « American Poets Abroad Trackback on January 13, 2008 at 5:27 pm

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Contrasting Views

"Literalism is a feature of boorish translators." Cicero "The clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase." Nabokov

The Faerie Queene

"John Ashbery said reading the Faerie Queene was like reading an endless beautiful comic strip." Kenneth Koch

Sigmund Freud

"Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me."


January 2008

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