David Dick reviews 'Satan Repentant' by Michael Aiken

David Dick reviews 'Satan Repentant' by Michael Aiken

Satan Repentant

by Michael Aiken

UWA Publishing, $22.99 pb, 140pp, 9781742589770

It is time to repent my sins. Recently, I have been asking myself if poetry is exempt from a need to entertain. Is the act of reading a poem or a book of poetry an escapist, amusing, joyous diversion from the rigours of reality? Or is it something more tedious, cold-blooded, blandly intellectual – an act not of enjoyment, but of control and imposition?

If you scan enough poetry criticism, it would be fair to assume that entertainment is a distant consideration in measuring poetic quality. The contemporary critic seems less intent on enjoying the work than on trying to explain it; in effect, coming to own it, being smarter than it, displacing it for the critic’s own broad theories and elucidations. Poetry criticism is a show whose performative message is, ‘I belong here. I get this.’

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in October 2018, no. 405
David Dick

David Dick

David Dick has recently finished a PhD on John Ashbery's poetry at Monash University

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.