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Poetry and Poetics

A Preface to a Blog: Auguries of Experience

February 14, 2010
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(image by David Shapiro ©2010) “Three coyotes turned up on the Columbia University campus on Sunday morning, prompting an e-mail alert to students and faculty.” A coyote is sweetness itself compared to a professor— and a professor is selfless compared to a poet— even the meanest sculptor is not as stupid as a University— a […]

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{insert shrug}

February 13, 2010

Here we are in the early days of Black History Month, churning steadily towards Women’s History Month, & chugging heartily towards National Poetry month; it is 2010. We are ending the Year of the Ox, charging headlong to the Tiger’s year; Valentine’s Day will, for some of us, be (wonderfully) subsumed by Chinese New Year. […]

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The Ill-Wrought Urn? A Literary Critical Debate in Truth & Beauty, Part 1

February 13, 2010
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Let’s begin with a recording of Ode on a Grecian Urn recited by Richard Howard, which was taken on 2/12/2010 through my iPhone. Ode on a Grecian Urn Thou still unravished bride of quietness, Thou foster child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: […]

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SONNETS by Bernadette Mayer

February 12, 2010
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I thought I’d share some Mayer sonnets, as Valentine’s day is almost upon us. Love nor the sonnet is standard in Mayer’s world, and she highlights the possibilities/ multiplicities of poetics and of love. After all, desire doesn’t always follow a neat and tidy pattern. SONNET So long honey, don’t ever come around again, I’m […]

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Alexander McQueen, RIP

February 11, 2010
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I’m don’t consider myself a comfortable elegist (is anyone?), but reading of Alexander McQueen’s death this morning forces me to take up the mantle. I’m not a huge fashion-buff, but I made the walk past the McQueen store on 14th Street a highlight of my daily commute when I worked in Chelsea. His clothes seemed […]

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more correspondence

February 11, 2010
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I want to begin praising If There is Something to Desire by Vera Pavlova, translated by Steven Seymour (her husband, her muse! how romantic, how intrinsic!) released last month from Knopf, her first collection published in English. These one hundred poems go so far so terrifically fast (almost all under ten lines) that Pavlova seems […]

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Chirp, Memory

February 10, 2010

“Houses have crumbled in my memory as soundlessly as they did in the mute films of yore.” —Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory ~ Miss Romano’s fourth grade class was gathered on the rough green carpeting listening to a small blonde girl with a turned up nose recite from memory “I Hate Homework” by Shel Silverstein. The […]

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Writing Prompt Patter

February 5, 2010
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I worry about graduate students. When intention, and goals, and focus outstrip the accidental, the possibility of falling into exactly what you need to trip over, you ought to take stock: what do you just allow to happen? Some students will say, “Easy for you. You have a job.” They’re right. But I never planned […]

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