Archive | This Month

D. H. Tracy and the Role of the Poet-Critic

This is the 10th installment in the “Role of the Poet-Critic” series, which includes interviews with Dana Gioia, William Logan, Adam Kirsch, Stephen Burt, Christian Wiman, Timothy Steele, William Jay Smith, and Rachel Hadas.continue reading...

Posted in Interviews, This MonthComments (2)

Letters to CPR: Marcus Bales responds to Richard Blanco Ballyhoo

Editor’s Note: Marcus Bales responded to the CPR’s recent series of articles on Richard Blanco’s Inaugural reading with this poem.

 

Identity Poetical by Marcus Bales

Identity Poet:
I am the very model of identity poetical,
My bio and my craftsmanship are blankly antithetical.… continue reading...

Posted in Letters, Poem, This MonthComments (5)

Praising Athenians in Athens: On the Failures of the American Ceremonial Poem

Perhaps the most surprising feature of Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem, “One Today,” is that hardly anyone took notice. In the week after the inauguration, the blogosphere was eerily quiet in regard to the poem.… continue reading...

Posted in Essays, This MonthComments (1)

The Richard Blanco Debate

Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem, “One Today,” sucked. Take the first stanza, which manages to be at once portentous, vaguely imperialistic, and dull:

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.

continue reading...

Posted in Essays, This MonthComments (6)

No Justice Done To Poetry At The Inauguration: On Richard Blanco

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. … continue reading...

Posted in Essays, Home Page, This MonthComments (7)

Dennis O’Driscoll (1954-2012): An Appreciation

Until recently, Dennis O’Driscoll was among the few living poets I most wanted to meet. He was also the only such poet whose writings I barely knew.… continue reading...

Posted in Essays, This MonthComments (5)

Dancing In Borrowed Time: Bill Coyle on Andrew Sofer

Reviewed: Wave by Andrew Sofer. Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2010. 63 pages, $14.00

 

The epigraph to Andrew Sofer’s debut collection of poetry comes from Yehuda Amachai—“And for the sake of remembering  / I wear my father’s face over mine”—and it could hardly be more apt.… continue reading...

Posted in Reviews, This MonthComments (0)

The Man Who Killed Poetry: Joseph Epstein And His Essays

It is nearly twenty-five years since Joseph Epstein published his now famous essay—or as Dana Gioia referred to it, his “mordant 1988 critique”—under the flashy title “Who Killed Poetry?” (Commentary, August 1988)

“A brilliant polemicist,” Gioia wrote, “Epstein intended his essay to be incendiary, and it did ignite an explosion of criticism.” That came from a similar-themed essay written by Gioia less than three years later (also with an interrogatory title), which went on to report: “No recent essay on American poetry has generated so much violently negative criticism from poets themselves [including “an extravagantly acrimonious symposium in the AWP Chronicle (the journal of the Associated Writing Programs)” when it was reprinted].… continue reading...

Posted in Essays, This MonthComments (11)

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.… continue reading...

Posted in Reviews, This MonthComments (6)

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.… continue reading...

Posted in Classic Reading, October 2012: Thomas Hardy Special Issue, This MonthComments (1)