Archive | November, 2012

A Variety of Courage: John Foy on Gerry Cambridge’s Notes for Lighting a Fire

  If lighting a fire on a winter night is a way of staying alive, then so, one feels, was the writing of the poems in Gerry Cambridge’s new book, Notes for Lighting a Fire. These poems are filled with light and heat. They are often about light and staving off darkness and cleaving to […]

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Thomas Hardy’s Artistry in “The Darkling Thrush”

I teach Hardy every other year in my “Modern British Poetry“ course at Wells College, and this year I decided to use “The Darkling Thrush” to introduce his work to students, many of whom had not read him before. As I looked particularly closely at the poem in preparation for the class—and then, later, during […]

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Thomas Hardy’s “In Tenebris”: The Problem of Relativity

Click here (and scroll to the bottom of the page) to read the poem sequence. I’d like to start by making a claim that I have recently asserted elsewhere: The lyric poem is fundamentally elegiac. That is, the lyric constitutes both the inscription of a moment’s utterance and a memento mori—an object that cannot help […]

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