But here's the thing:
1. I have little interest in many of the poets that Helen Vendler loves: e.g., Jorie Graham, James Merrill, Wallace Stevens, etc., etc. I've always presumed that, as with any art, different styles and schools of poetry appeal to different readers. Some people like Pollack; some people like Grandma Moses. Myself, I don't care for either, but I do like Rothko and Vermeer.
2. I have been greatly influenced by the poetry of canonized white men. I don't know why this is so, but there you have it. However, I am not a canonized white man myself.
3. Helen Vendler is a woman. Other women are angry at her. Will they soon begin making those kinds of cruel personal remarks that politically liberal women made about Margaret Thatcher? I didn't like Margaret Thatcher either, but the remarks made me nervous, even when I was seventeen and as ignorant as a biscuit.
4. The subject or theme of a piece of writing may speak to the political, social, or sexual concerns of a particular group of people, yet it may still be a mediocre work of art. Also, people with bad politics or limited points of view can be great artists. I am not dissing anyone in particular here.
5. Poetry as breezy anecdote bores me. Poetry as a bland stack of images bores me. Poetry as a screech or a whine bores me. Poetry as cynical wordplay bores me. I don't care who writes this stuff--man or woman, Latino or white, Elizabethan or modernist. I don't want to read it.