Several years ago, the poet and critic Joan Houlihan offered a scathing indictment of some contemporary poetry for using words in a way that treats them as meaningless. Of the words making up one offending poem, she asks, “Why are they printed in a journal someone paid to produce, for someone else to pay to read, instead of being spoken by a stroke victim in a rest home?”

– Sherri Irvin, “Unreadable Poems and How They Mean,” The Philosophy of Poetry, ed. by John Gibson (2015)

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