A writer-editor-teacher’s quote of the week #123

This is not to say that American poetry began in 1900, which is the opinion of those who worship at the altar of modernism, an arrogantly exclusive movement whose idea of making everything new has done so much damage to our national culture. Modernist architects let the beautiful Victorian and Italianate buildings fall into decay in Oakland, where I live, because they saw themselves as the new and rejected the past. It took the postmodernists to restore the buildings, by mixing the old with the new.

— from Ishmael Reed’s “Introduction” to From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900 – 2002

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