The Reaper’s Ten Non-Negotiable Demands

In the mid-’80s, a magazine called the Reaper published a list of ten rules that they felt the poetry world ought to follow in order to revive poetry. The list spoke to their biases and beliefs about what poetry ought to be. Here’s their list:

The Reaper’s Ten Non-Negotiable Demands

1. Take prosody off the hit list.
2. Stop calling formless writing poetry.
3. Accuracy at all costs.
4. No emotion without narrative.
5. No more meditating on the meditation.
6. No more poems about poetry.
7. No more irresponsibility of expression.
8. Raze the House of Fashion.
9. Dismantle the Office of Translation.
10. Spring open the Jail of the Self.

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