Saturday, April 12, 2008

no one reads poetry, right?

In revisiting the life of Thomas Hardy, Adam Hirsch quotes Hardy thus, “If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have left him alone.”

The suggestion is, I suppose, since no one reads poetry (or takes it seriously, or, maybe, having let the eyes roam the text, actually gets it), the consequences of expressing dangerous thoughts in poetry are few. Judging by Hardy’s lionization upon his death by people whose beliefs Hardy largely disdained (or savaged) in his verse, Hirsch considers the point proved.

source: The New Yorker, January 15, 2007

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