Archive | July, 2003

A. R. Ammons’ Cookie-Cutter

A.R. Ammons, Collected Poems, 1951-1971. W.W. Norton & Co. $19.95 (paper). 396pp. A.R. Ammons, A Coast of Trees. W.W. Norton & Co. $11.00 (paper). 52pp. A.R. Ammons, Worldly Hopes. W.W. Norton & Co. $11.00 (paper). 51pp. A.R. Ammons, Garbage. W.W. Norton & Co. $12.00 (paper). 121pp. A.R. Ammons, Brink Road. W.W. Norton & Co. $12.00 […]

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Young Poets Calling: Part 1

The Hidden Model by David Yezzi. Triquarterly, 2003. Radiance by Joe Osterhaus. Zoo Press, 2002. As Reviewed by Adam Kirsch No instruction has ever been so eagerly and doubtfully obeyed as Ezra Pound’s famous “Make it new.” In twentieth and now twenty-first century American poetry, the new has been like the Ypres salient, constantly claimed […]

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Dana Gioia’s Defenders of the Modernist-Romantic Tradition

As Reviewed By: Sunil Iyengar Can Poetry Matter? by Dana Gioia. 10th anniversary edition. Graywolf Press, 2003. I. In an introductory note to his first poetry collection, The Rage for the Lost Penny (1940), Randall Jarrell declares: “‘Modern’ poetry is, essentially, an extension of romanticism; it is what romantic poetry wishes or finds it necessary […]

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Geoffrey Hill: The Corpus of Absolution

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert Orchards of Syon by Geoffrey Hill. Counterpoint Press, 2002. Geoffrey Hill is so categorically admired by those who read him regularly (and they do not comprise a great horde) that it seems simply a matter of time before one will begin to hear of a “Hillian corpus” as one sometimes […]

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The Sound of the Future

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert An Introduction to the Uses of Voice Recording in New Electronic Formats The musical qualities of the spoken voice are thought by many to be the essence of poetry, and it remains true that most poetry is intended to be heard, either as an acoustic mental image or when spoken […]

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Oedipus Redivivus

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert The Throne of Labdacus by Gjertrud Schnackenberg. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001 I. At the height of its rather muted publicity, the new formalism movement-proclaimed by Dana Gioia in the 1980s, and laid out in Linnaean proportions by Mark Jarman and David Mason in Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New […]

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Louise Glück’s Monumental Narcissism

As Reviewed By: Brian Henry The Seven Ages by Louise Glück. Ecco/HarperCollins, $23 cloth. 68 pgs. Very few lives are interesting, and even fewer are sufficiently interesting to spawn nine books of autobiographical poetry. Louise Glück’s life might be richer than most, but in her continued fetishization of her life and her self–not the self […]

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A Tremulous Debut

As Reviewed By: Brian Henry Tremolo by Spencer Short. HarperCollins Perennial, 2001. $13 (paper). Selected by Billy Collins as a winner in the National Poetry Series competition. Spencer Short’s debut collection Tremolo announces a poetic voice that is remarkable for its intelligence, verbal dexterity, and emotional honesty. Tremolo has the youthful exuberance one might expect in a […]

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Shakespeare’s Inner Workings

As Reviewed By: Omaar Hena The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Helen Vendler. Belknap Press, 1997. $37.39 paperback. 692 pages. Helen Vendler’s The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets first appeared in 1997 and then in paperback two years later. During the past five years, most reviewers have lauded Vendler’s work. Richard Howard, in The New York Times Book […]

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History Held Together with String

As Reviewed By: J. K. Halligan The Invasion Handbook by Tom Paulin. Faber & Faber, 2002. In the poem “Surveillances”, from his second collection, The Strange Museum (1980), Tom Paulin addressed the anonymous inhabitants of Northern Ireland who made their homes near a prison- And if you would swop its functions For a culture of bungalows […]

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