Archive | November, 2010

A Strange and Beautiful Noise: Ernest Hilbert on Late Ashbery Syndrome, or, Listening without Hearing

mong literary arts, poetry places the greatest emphasis on the organization of the musical effects of language: rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia, along with such elements as ambiguity, and even exuberant nonsense.… continue reading...

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The Dark Pool

Robert Benchley, the actor, critic and member of the Algonquin Wits, once quipped that “There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.”  At the risk of murdering to dissect and conferring ontological status upon a distinction that is a mere abstraction and obviously untrue, I would like to begin by suggesting that there are exactly two things happening in every poem: what a poem says and what a poem does.… continue reading...

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Poetry and the Problem of Standards

“Building my work, I build myself.”

–  Paul Valéry

“Thought tends to collect in pools.”

– Wallace Stevens

Ordinary readers, literary editors, and some English professors confront an inescapable question of judgment: In principle, is it possible, faced with an overwhelming body of work in print, to cull out excellent poems in the way one can cull out fine diamonds or superb soufflés?… continue reading...

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The Rest Is Criticism

Time was when there was too much criticism around. Randall Jarrell thought so, when, in the early Fifties, he pronounced it “the bane of our age.” Auden, whose fourth doorstop volume of collected prose recently appeared from Princeton, was similarly disenchanted.… continue reading...

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Special Issue Introduction: Poetry Criticism

The six papers which will appear this week in the CPR were all delivered on July 31, 2010, at the first annual Western State College Seminar on Poetry Criticism, in Gunnison, Colorado. … continue reading...

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The Good, The Fad, and The Ugly

Reviewed:

The Art of the Sonnet by Stephen Burt and David Mikics. The Belknap Press, 2010.

Eternal glory to the inventor of the sonnet.  However, although so many beautiful sonnets have been written, the most beautiful is still to be done.

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The Lighter Side: Fashionista Flarf Blogger

The fashion world is enjoying the anonymous posts coming from Fuck Yeak Menswear, where each daily post “responds” to a fashion photograph with hilarious, egotistical doggerel that reminds this reader of nothing so much as a clothes-obsessed rap star working on the lyrics to B-sides that will never see the light of day.… continue reading...

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A Formal Party

Reviewed:

After the Revival by Carrie Jerrell. Waywiser Press, 2009.

Domestic Fugues by Richard Newman. Steel Toe Books, 2010.

There are a number of striking similarities between these books: for starters, there’s the preference both poets display for traditional meters and forms, as well as the variety of those forms—sestinas, sonnets (Petrarchan, Shakespearean, terza rima and otherwise ) blank verse, rondeaux, villanelles.… continue reading...

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Editor’s Note: My Farewell

One of several enticements of the internet for a literary magazine, as for any enterprise, is the ease with which information may be conveyed, stored, and distributed.… continue reading...

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