– According to Billy Collins it is “about achieving a balance between “clarity and mystery. It’s important to know which card to turn over and which to lay face-down. But the beginning of a poem should always be very clear, to get a reader on board, and only then can you be confident that when you move into less obvious areas of metaphor or fantasy that they will go with you. It is like an eye chart, with its big E at the top, and the letters getting less legible as it moves along. A poem should be like that.”
Collin’s view on poetry is interesting also from the point of view of the critic, and for ‘the art industry’.
“I have spoken a lot about willful obscurity in poetry – where the poet is hiding behind language, using it as camouflage – and I don’t have much tolerance for that kind of poetry,”
We find exactly the same problem in the art world; critics and curators obscuring the art for the viewer. I have just recently started to wonder if this is a negative inheritance from Arthur Danto … but have to make more research to know for sure.