Archive | Essays

“Under Empty Skies Falconers Weep” 

A Personal Survey of Modern Verse in Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania As Reviewed By: Stephen Schwartz I will begin this highly selective and idiosyncratic discussion of modern Slovene, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, and Albanian poetry with an anecdote. While barely known in the West, this episode represents the first penetration, in the form of an exclusively personal relationship, […]

Posted in Essays, ReviewsComments (0)

An Agenda for Critics: Judgment

By: Jan Schreiber The task of the critic is judgment. I hope to unravel the complexities of judgment, as it applies to works of literature, and specifically to poetry. Those who imagine judgment to be a simple matter need only perform a small exercise to convince themselves otherwise. In the fourth act of Macbeth, Malcolm […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)

Wave and Stone, Verse and Prose: Novels-in-Verse vs. Poetic Narratives 

Carson, Anne. Autobiography of Red: a Novel-in-verse. Vintage Books, 1998. 149 pages Evaristo, Bernardine. The Emperor’s Babe: a Verse Novel of Londinium, 211 A.D. Penguin, 2001. 253 pages. Graham, Loren. Mose. Wesleyan UP, 1994. 52 pages. Leithauser, Brad. Darlington’s Fall: a Novel-in-verse. Knopf, 2002. 313 pages. Maxwell, Glyn. Time’s Fool: a Tale in Verse. Houghton […]

Posted in Essays, ReviewsComments (0)

The Multicultural Melt

By: Justin Quinn The main transformations in American literature over the last thirty years have had a strong effect on poetry as well: the consolidation of African-American writers, the emergence of Native-American, Asian-American and Chicano writers, as well as gay writers, to name but a few. Most of this falls under the rubric of “multiculturalism”, […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)

Tiring the Sun with Poetry 

Ledbury Poetry Festival, July 2004 By: Anthony Moore I wish Edward Thomas (that poet) were here to ponder gulfs in general with me as in the days when he and I tired the sun with talking on the footpaths and stiles of Ledington and Ryton (Robert Frost, “A Romantic Chasm”) Those days, at the start […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)

Poetry, Spilt Religion, and the Poetic Imagination

By: Paul Lake In 1935 in his essay “Religion and Literature,” T. S. Eliot described his era as one in which readers had “never heard the Christian faith spoken of as anything but an anachronism.” He further declared, “ . . . the whole of modern literature is corrupted by what I call Secularism . . […]

Posted in EssaysComments (1)

Poetry in the Mother Tongue

By: Paul Lake Despite nearly a century’s advances in science, technology, linguistics, and our understanding of human development and cognition, Freud’s Oedipal myth provides the intellectual cornerstone for postmodern literary analysis as well as the chief impetus for avant-garde experimentation in the arts. As adapted and modified by modern psychoanalytic critics like Jacques Lacan and […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)

The Enchanted Loom: A New Paradigm for Literature

By: Paul Lake Increasingly over the past few decades, as postmodern critical theories have percolated from the academy down to the general culture, the prestige of literature has declined. Vulgarized ideas from deconstruction and other postmodern schools now permeate the zeitgeist, spreading the notion that words don’t refer to things, but exist in a self-enclosed […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)

Disorderly Orders

By Paul Lake At present, the term “free verse” is used to describe a multitude of quite different and even contradictory strategies, several of which may be employed in the same poem. If metrical poetry can be defined as verse in which strong and weak sound-elements are patterned by numerical rules into self-similar lines, then […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)

The Shape of Poetry

by Paul Lake In one of his most memorable pronouncements, written in 1917 at a time when he was championing free verse, Ezra Pound made a classic statement about the shape of poetry: I think there is a ‘fluid’ as well as a ‘solid’ content, that some poems may have form as a tree has […]

Posted in EssaysComments (0)