Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Literary Criticism"

Today we shall define literary criticism
as the art of constructing a weak
but elaborate foundation
to support a simple but heavy opinion.

Sooner or later, that
which seemed new, brave, and rigorous
will collapse under the weight
of the opinion and

because of the weakness.
The opinion shall remain,
functioning mostly
as a grave-marker,

for--just over there!--
shall have arisen
an impressive new structure
to which the flocks are flocking.


hans ostrom 2015



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