James Matthew Wilson, Some Permanent Things (Milwaukee, WI: Wiseblood Books, 2014), 143 pp. $15.00 Reviewed by Mark Bauerlein The poems in this weighty volume are too numerous and ponderous to summarize in a review. Some of them date from more than a dozen years ago. Verse forms vary (sonnets, blank verse,read more
Of all the literary scenes Saddest this sight to me: The graves of little magazines Who died to make verse free. — Keith Preston It is impossible to tell the story of modern American poetry without examining the role of little magazines. During the twentieth century these idiosyncratic, mostlyread more
David Kalstone, a longtime professor of English at Rutgers University and, prior to that, at Harvard, was one of James Merrill’s closest friends. An expert on Sir Philip Sidney, Kalstone extensively studied 20th-century Americans as well; his second book Five Temperaments (1977) included a chapter on Merrill along with Elizabethread more
“Permanence Through Words”: John Foy Reviews New Books by David Yezzi, Joanna Pearson, George Green, and Quincy R. Lehr
Birds of the Air, by David Yezzi, Carnegie Mellon University Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013 Lord Byron’s Foot, by George Green, St. Augustine’s Press, South Bend, IN, 2012 Shadows and Gifts, by Quincy R. Lehr, Barefoot Muse Press, 2013 Oldest Mortal Myth, by Joanna Pearson, Story Line Press, West Chester, PA,read more
James Matthew Wilson reviews two books by David J. Rothman, The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press, 2013) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press, 2013) In the last several years, David Rothman has established a reputation as the great enthusiast of poetic form. In his prose and public appearances, he arguesread more
James Merrill has given us the birth-myth of his poem, “Losing the Marbles.” After decades of spending his winter months in Athens, Greece, Merrill wintered instead in Key West, where, in 1985, “… we were talking about memory lapses, a topic increasingly relevant to everyone present. John Brinnin quoted Ladyread more
John F. Kennedy’s request that Robert Frost read at his inauguration had no precedent in United States history, but, in retrospect, appears rather predictable. The 86-year-old writer was already “the embodiment of American poetry,” as Jay Parini puts it in his biography. Parini recalls that Kennedy enjoyed Frost’s poetry, andread more
Reviewed: Modern Canadian Poets: An Anthology of Poems in English. Todd Swift and Evan Jones, editors. Carcanet Press, 2010. 260 pages, $32.95 Anthologies, particularly those dedicated to presenting the poetry of a particular stretch of geopolitical space-time, are, by necessity, Procrustean beds. Thousands of poets producing work over manyread more
EH: If someone were blindfolded and reached out at random on your bookshelves, what might he come away with?
FW: The New Testament, Neue Gedichte, and the pornographic stories of Apollinaire.
As Reviewed By: Ernest Hilbert World Within World by Stephen Spender. Modern Library, 398 pages. $23.95. Stephen Spender’s World Within World is as much a reconsideration, a critique, of the art of autobiography as it is an autobiography. Just as Ford Madox Ford’s novel The Good Soldieris today read as an Arsread more