For some reason I feel I have to weigh in on “greatness and poetry,” although I thought the Times article was pretty irrelevant (with the exception of the Milosz quote that Orr very amusingly trashes in the last section).
I admit that “greatness” is important to poetry in the sense of, well, you know when you are taking the garbage down to the basement in the elevator? and the bag is full to bursting with smelly stuff you finally got around to cleaning out of the refrigerator, cat shit, coffee grounds, etc.? and just as the elevator door opens some piece of the tacky elevator paneling snags on the garbage bag and rips it way open, spilling half the garbage inside the elevator and half the garbage just outside? And you know how the only thing you can say at that moment is, OH great.
That would be the kind of greatness we’re talking about, yes?