Archive | July, 2005

Confidence Artist

As Reviewed By: Sunil Iyengar

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004. 71 pages.

The trick of transparency, like all sleight of hand, does not admit close scrutiny.… continue reading...

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The Civilized Yawp

As Reviewed By: Sunil Iyengar

Fourteen On Form: Conversations with Poets by William Baer. University Press of Mississippi. 265 pages.

The liveliest moment in William Baer’s collection of table-talk occurs in an interview with Douglas Dunn at St.… continue reading...

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On and Off of Parnassus

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Men in the Off Hours by Anne Carson. Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. USA $24.00, Canada $37.00

Anne Carson’s most recent collection, Men in the Off Hours, is a conspicuous departure from the uniform tone and patient psychological exploration of her previous book, Autobiography of Red, which, for all its intellectual elegance, was essentially a bildungsroman, a formational novel in verse.… continue reading...

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Artificer of Americana

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Americana by John Updike. Knopf, US $23. 95 pages.

John Updike balances upon, and in many ways defines, the center of the beam in American literature.… continue reading...

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The Voice of the Poet Part 9: Anne Sexton

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Part 9: Anne Sexton

It is a peculiar pleasure to hear Anne Sexton read her poems, though her parched agony carries through and occasionally sends a shiver down the spine.… continue reading...

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The Voice of the Poet Part 7: Five American Women Poets

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Part 7: Five American Women Poets

Voice of the Poet: Five American Women
Gertrude Stein, H.D., Edna St. Vincent Millay, Louise Bogan, Muriel Rukeyser

Gertrude Stein is the odd woman out in this collection, her fame owing as it does to a broad array of achievements.… continue reading...

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The Voice of the Poet Part 6: James Merrill

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Part 6: James Merrill

James Merrill is usually imagined as a genteel lyric poet who lived a genteel lyrical life, engaged by purely domestic concerns, whether in New England or Greece, while turning out some of the most balanced and swiftly canonical American poems of the century.… continue reading...

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The Voice of the Poet Part 5: John Ashbery

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Part 5: John Ashbery

John Ashbery has often been described as the most important poet writing in English today. Even if this cannot be said with any great deal of enthusiasm, one may relent and admit that he is certainly the most influential poet to cast seeds on American soil for some time.… continue reading...

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The Voice of the Poet Part 4: Elizabeth Bishop

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Part 4: Elizabeth Bishop

In 1962, as CIA analysts stood over grainy photographs of what they believed to be Russian missile bases in Cuba, Elizabeth Bishop wrote in her poem ‘Sandpiper’ of the sea receding, where “(no detail too small) the Atlantic drains / rapidly backwards and downwards.” This passage, the falling away of detail into experience, and, above all, the belief that no detail is too small to be of significance, is emblematic of the focused energies to be found in her poetry.… continue reading...

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The Voice of the Poet Part 3: Sylvia Plath

As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert

Part 3: Sylvia Plath

Few twentieth-century poets in English have achieved such lofty heights of fame or been surrounded by such cumbrous shrouds of legend as Sylvia Plath.… continue reading...

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