Justin writes: " Much poetry seems to me to have become a mere vehical
for politics, and as you noted earlier, poetry makes a poor carrier for
This is odd. There is a strong tradition which opposes poetry to
rhetoric, but there is an equally strong tradition which sees poetry as
itself a species of rhetoric. And "mere vehicle for politics" would have
to dismiss Dante, Virgil, Milton, Pound, Pope, Jonson, Horace, Coleridge
("France, An Ode"), Marvell, Dryden, Burns, Blake, W.D. Ehrhart, Byron .
. . .
You seem to be operating by a rather narrow and stifling sense of what
you are willing to call poetry. Any definition of poetry that does not
include, for example, the _Epilogue to the Satires_ or _Lycidas_ is too
pinchmouthed for me.