Quite a few people have been weighing in on Irving Layton lately. But for every sensitive and intelligent piece (Kenneth Sherman's in the National Post), there are just as many uninformed and downright idiotic ones , as well. Matthew Wright's piece, in the same NaPo, on Noah Zacharin's thoughts on Layton is an example of the unfortunate variety.
" "I love crows because they are highly advanced and misunderstood," says Zacharin. "Kind of like poets." "
Perhaps Zacharin loves crows because he sees himself in them. Not just himself, but all his literary heroes, including Canadian poet Irving Layton." -- Wright.
Layton, in a confessional poem, complained of crows waking him up with their "matutinal puking noises."
" " Layton believed that the herd mentality would never produce something of lasting value or integrity," Zacharin says.
He added that Layton's story is one common to most Canadian poets and admirers -- it is the feeling of not fitting in, of being cast out by society for thinking differently, "just like the crow"."--Wright
Most of those poets and poetry readers are part of the .0000000000000001 per cent of all courageous individuals Layton praised above the philistines?
"But the poets with their obscene posturings
-cats covering their shit with kitty litter-
are even more duplicitous. Except for the savage
few" -- Irving Layton, from "Freud With All His Knowledge"
I haven't been able to attend any of the Layton celebrations, but I hope most aren't being used as an excuse to champion the poet's role (in a necessary emotional obliquity, the poets, in their confraternities, themselves).