Allen Grossman

Two Works of Spiritual Aspiration: Flowers and Vogel

May 2, 2013
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Poems are “instruments for thinking” (Allen Grossman). The object of a poet’s thought, however, is often unstated–especially in lyric poetry. Lyric poetry never speaks to an audience, and so–as it is when we are alone–the speaker doess not feel compelled to explicitly state the object of thought but only the thoughts themselves. In this review, I want to try and discern these objects of thought in the works of two poets whose work seem directed at resolving particularly spiritual problems.

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Tom Sleigh, Anthropologist

June 29, 2011
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Formality, in this case, allows Sleigh to achieve a reflexivity and self-awareness without the cloying injections that deliberately remind the reader of the existence of the poet.

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Hamlet and his (Public) Problems

May 28, 2010
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Hamlet self-consciously reveals his inner thoughts to an audience he does/n’t know is there. Perhaps this soliloquy is a proto-modern lyric?

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Closing a Poem (Blogging through Grossman, Part 6)

April 6, 2010
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How do you know when you’re “done” a poem? I’m not speaking about revision, but rather, the act of writing, particularly lyrical free verse. Donna Masini once described it to me (or a class I was in—can’t remember which), as a settling in the body: a literal sense in the poet’s body that there is […]

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Immortality (Blogging through Grossman, Part 4)

March 23, 2010
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I’ve decided to change my strategy for blogging through Grossman. Not only is it almost impossible to try and successfully capture the first part of the book in any systematic way (the conversation shifts too rapidly and it’s almost maddening to trace any idea), but the second part is so lovely and systematically broken down, […]

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Blogging through Grossman, Part 3: Poetic Promiscuity.

March 2, 2010
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We recent poets have two great tools at our disposal: freedom of poetic license, and freedom of publishing. Generally, we can say whatever we want, and get a significant number of people to hear what we have to say. The question is whether this freedom has led to better poetry or degeneration. Perhaps that’s not the best way to put it. The question should be, even if somebody is doing something amazing and new in poetry, would we even see it? Will we travel all this way to find that we really did need the gatekeepers of poetry??

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Blogging through Grossman, Part 2: Grossman demolishes otherness?

February 16, 2010
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I probably should state right off the bat that I am not a philosopher by trade. If I mess up philosophical terms and definitions, feel free to correct me. I tend to have a more intuitive approach to philosophy, rather than a systematic one. Thus, I tend to explain things by analogy. I recognize the […]

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Blogging through Allen Grossman, Part 1: The Role of Poetry

February 9, 2010
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First, I want to say it is an honor to be blogging with so many great minds and poets. Some of you I’ve met in person, and many of you I haven’t. I hope to get to know all of you, at least virtually. It will be fun to see where blog goes. Now, onto […]

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