Joe Weil

Poetry Speaks with its Hands

December 7, 2011
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My theory of narrative is that it is arc, gesture, syntactical force the most common of which is what we call a story, but not exclusive to story.

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Sleep to Wake and Wake to Sleep: A comparison of “Prufrock” and “Nightingale”

November 30, 2011
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What draws these poems together is simulation of death-states in relation to the afflatus of night and song—of rising or sinking to the occasion.

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Why I can never hate the Susquehanna

November 22, 2011
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I can never hate the Susquehanna, not if it took my last dollar, not if it made me look like a grade z version of some extra who got lost on his lunch break from a remake of “The Grapes of Wrath” and ended up standing poised against the wrong unforgiving sky.

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Why Lesser Talent Succeeds

November 15, 2011
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I believe being recognized is a talent, a capability in its own right.

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The actual slaughter of the gods: The Great Gatsby, Goldman Sachs, and Zombies

November 8, 2011
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We worship death and call it ultimate life.

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The Old Rocker

October 21, 2011
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It was the sort of chair working class people purchased on the way up along with the upright spinet to prove they were no longer poor.

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A Truly Democratic Poetry

October 7, 2011
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American literature sprung truly from the soil of democracy would be lively, but unrefined, poor on rules of thumb, sacrificing refinement to vitality.

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Toward a more Combative and Passionate Reading of Poems

September 14, 2011
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I am about to model for you a form of close reading that does not need effort so much as stealth, and curiosity, and the willingness to wrestle with angels.

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Why I Hate “The Arts”

August 31, 2011
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Perhaps it is the ends of art I hate–the way it is “valued” rather than integrated into the dynamic of being alive.

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In the Garden: Re-Reading Whitman

August 22, 2011
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A garden, like all true relationships, is a pact with loss, with effacement, and when we fear effacement, it already begins to give birth to power and envy and death inside us.

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Didactic Sonnet

August 2, 2011
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If Plato came back today and saw the workshop, craft obsessed nature of poetics, he’d give his approval, but not for reasons poets might like: Plato would approve because the stupidity of inspiration has been removed from the writing of poems.

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On the Bias Against Narrative Poetry

July 11, 2011
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Many young poets can not accept that telling a story, or relating some sort of narrative arc is conducive to the highest aims of poetry.

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Presence beyond the spoken or written word

June 15, 2011
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I always think that a poem “off the page” becomes an “act” of language rather than a poem, a thing made out of words.

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On My Pedagogical Approach (or something of the sort)

May 18, 2011
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Digress, digress, follow the nose of your longing.

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On Poetry and Loss, Part 2

May 10, 2011
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I sometimes think African American “cool” and Irish humor developed out of an awareness of the truth that life is not merciful.

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On Poetry and Loss

April 27, 2011
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The handling of such overwhelming material is first and last, a question of form. Grief, loss, outrage, must be made portable.

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