Hibbard on Haze on Jacket

from Jacket 30:

The first piece in Haze is titled ‘Reasons to Write’. It begins ‘There is of course no reason to write poetry’. And it concludes, ‘I write poetry because I need to make a living’. And so it begins: this modern coyness that Trilling describes, aiming at not identity (I am a poet) but presence (what is entailed in calling oneself a poet), an elusive sincerity of self-effacement and skill. In the text of this brief introductory piece is stated:
We have been sold a world of reasons so endlessly, so thoroughly, so destructively that even poets are called upon to explain what they do, to give their reasons to justify themselves before endless courts of indifference and terror.

The more insistent the reasons the less value they have. These are courts of indifference and terror because, based on lack of faith, deference to appearance, they are corrupt and at bottom materialistic, that is, of slight meaning. The author therefore feels obliged to present his case only according to his own rules.


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