- Christian Bök - Kelly Writers House, UPenn, November 18, 2009
Convenient Poetics ("ConPo") is now the dominant force in English language poetry, eclipsing even Content Regency. Advocates of Convenient Poetics, known as "ConPoets", embrace their philosophy with the pious dedication of living martyrs. ConPo tenets include:
1. That which we do not understand cannot be important.
"I don't need to learn about scansion. I write free verse!"
2. There is no such thing as bad poetry.
"The 'Tay Bridge Disaster' isn't poetry; it's doggerel!"
3. Criticism must never contain criticism.
"Hey, what goes around comes around, right?"
4. Humorlessness is next to godliness.
"They say that those with no sense of humor have no sense at all but poetry is no laughing matter!"
5. Overcomplication is the seal of the truth.
"...and it pays the bills!"
6. The customer is always wrong.
"Don't like my poetry? Should I 'dumb it down' for you?"
7. Reject others, lest they reject you.
"Why would any self-respecting author want to write anything the public would want to read?"
8. Thou shalt commit verbosity.
"To paraphrase Mao: 'Why use one word when we can use a thousand?' Seriously, who's gonna pay to hear one measly word?"
9. Segmentation is unity.
"The smaller the readership the more intimate the experience."
10. People never really liked poetry.
"Robert Service didn't really make $500,000 from one poem, did he?"
11. Poetry can't be defined.
"Poetry is whatever someone presents as poetry. Why let the audience decide? Especially when there isn't one!"
12. Thy navel is the Lord, thy God. Thou shalt not have strange navels before It.
"'I contain multitudes!' Pardon me, but are you laughing or yawning?"
13. Academics, critics and editors are a waste of time.
"Why bother studying? This poetry shit is easy!"
14. Poetry can't be taught.
"Well, not to me, at least."
15. Poetry can't be dead.
"That would require almost no one knowing a line of it written in the last two generations."