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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.

It’s always a relief to me when I see a book published by somebody outside the “poetry ghetto.”


[Psalm for Third Base]

Picasso wrote this well before Mary Ruefle started publishing books, but if his words could be an egg, Ruefle’s Selected Poems would hatch right out of it.

[What do animals dream?]

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.

[In a Familiar City]

Ashbery’s translation is the best we have in English so far.

[Blue Note]

The poetry lesson is that poetry is a practice.

[Known Quantity]

These types of genres are a narratologist's dream, because one can spend an inordinate amount of time (even in a 190 page book like this one) teasing out the tiniest components of this unfamiliar world.

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.


All acts of observation are partial and reveal as much about the observer as the observed.