Responding to complaints that Poetry magazine should give all its space to poetry and/or much less to prose, an interesting article by Christian Wiman:
“..a strong case can be made that the more respect you have for poetry, the less of it you will find adequate to your taste and needs. There is a limit to this logic, of course, or else Plato would be the patron saint of the art. But still, an overdeveloped appetite for poetry is no guarantee of taste or even of love, and institutionalized efforts at actually encouraging the over-consumption of poetry always seem a bit freakish, ill-conceived, and peculiarly American, like those mythic truck stops where anyone who can eat his own weight in rump roast doesn’t have to pay for it.”
Surely it’s a matter of degree and some publications can be, should be, and are more discriminating than others. They set the bar the highest and that ultra-high bar is certainly needed in the industry at large (poetry being an industry, n’est-ce pas). But to apply the same high bar across the publishing board? Yeek.
Possibly he is only talking of Poetry and its ilk, though, and not positing a categorical imperative, in which case I’ll shut up.