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Poetry and Poetics

Matthew Rohrer’s Destroyer and Preserver

April 18, 2011
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If you’d told me that the ultimate line of a wonderful poem could be, simply, “Doctor Wong,” I would’ve looked at you skeptically.

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Poem of the Week: Adam Tessier

April 14, 2011
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[Dead reckoning]

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Translating Horace: Ode i.5

April 12, 2011
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Horace is just too good a craftsman for a translation to do him any ultimate justice. Yet I believe translators hope for a sort of “good will” that can exist between between themselves and the poet.

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Creative Stupidity

April 11, 2011
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Many people do not become artists not because they are stupid, but because they are incapable of suspending the thinking/feeling functions. They fail to become writers and musicians and painters because they cannot enter their highest stupidity.

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Poem of the Week: Joseph Fasano

April 7, 2011
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[Sudden Hymn in Autumn]

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Overcoming Writer’s Block

April 5, 2011
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The words art and habit might seem an odd pairing, but that’s what art is: the glamor of drudgery, and the drudgery of glamor.

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Indie Bookstores: Kramerbooks

April 4, 2011
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I indulge fantasies of ownership, lament the limited capacity of my wallet and shelf space to accommodate all the books I want. But I gird myself and leave with nothing, happy to have looked, touched, but saved myself again.

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Poem of the Week: Carolyn Kizer

March 31, 2011
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[The Great Blue Heron]

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On Mimesis

March 30, 2011
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Aristotle meant that poetry was mimetic of all of things, independent of another poet’s unique perspective. It is not necessary that poets imitate other poets, but that they imitate life.

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Sentimentality vs. Feeling

March 29, 2011
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True feeling has the force of grace; sentimentality has the stench of morals. The word “should” and “must” cling to its fat cherubic legs. Half comprised of self regard, and the other half a mixture of cliche, the sentimental is close to the feigned regard of the funeral director: appropriate, and grave, but with one eye on the itemized bill.

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The Wonderful Burden of Living: A Review of Milan Djordjevic’s Oranges and Snow

March 28, 2011
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Djordjevic’s history of survival through political unrest and cruel accident made an impression on me before I read his work. But I had to learn to stand in each poem as if I were on an island.

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Would you like a Signed Copy of Mark Strand’s New Book?

March 26, 2011
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[Read the post for guidelines]

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Frank Bidart’s “Golden State”: Resisting the Diachronic Urge

March 25, 2011
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Narrative seems to hold a privileged position in the hierarchy of meaning-making and we have subconsciously absorbed it as an the overarching structure for comprehending reality. So: what to do with the diachronic urge? Do episodic “image narratives” offer a viable alternative?

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Poem of the Week: Wallace Stevens

March 24, 2011
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[Large Red Man Reading]

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Kevin Young’s Ardency

March 23, 2011
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It’s Kevin Young’s least personal book so far, but in many ways that allows him to approach those same emotions within the book’s historical characters from a more objective stance.

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Terms, Truth, Sun Sparrows: A Very Important Lesson from My Father

March 21, 2011
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I tell my students that education can do the work of evil: it can make a bunch of aleatory systems with PHDs think they have a right to be superior to the Rocky Weils of this world. They can make a son misunderstand the wisdom of his own father. They stink of torture and snobbery, they are rank with the odor of exclusion and bias, and we call this “truth” or “Dogma” or “terminology.”

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