Archive | This Month

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.… continue reading...

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

“The Convergence of the Twain”: Thomas Hardy and Popular Sentiment

On April 15, 1912, on her maiden voyage, the British steamer Titanic, the world’s largest and most luxurious ship, struck an iceberg in mid-Atlantic and sank.… continue reading...

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“Effulgent” by David M. Katz (A parody)

 

“Effulgent” by David M. Katz

          Part seemed she of the effulgent thought“Her Initials,” Thomas Hardy

 
Glitter, brilliance, candor, dazzle;
Luster, splendor, lambent lightness;
She evokes a lucid ghazal
All shot through with flashing brightness:
Of those words, he chose “effulgent.”

Anhedonic to a fault, dour
Hardy’s verse betrays his waning
Adolescent self in flower,
Breaking up while it was raining.

continue reading...

Posted in October 2012: Thomas Hardy Special Issue, Poem, This MonthComments (0)

Thomas Hardy: The Flexible Strength of “Neutral Tones”

How can you account for the love you have for a favorite poem?  One way is simply to say that it sparks personal associations for you.… continue reading...

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Form as Moral Content in Thomas Hardy’s “During Wind and Rain”

Read the poem here.

When beginning to think about the poem “During Wind and Rain” by Thomas Hardy, I thought it might be useful to go back for some context to the old pessimist Yvor Winters, who always had provocative things to say about form.  … continue reading...

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The Light of Loss: Thomas Hardy’s “The Last Signal”

Thomas Hardy’s poem “The Last Signal” is one of his finest elegies. That is already saying a good deal, since a great many of his poems could be defined as elegiac in tone, if not actually in strict form.… continue reading...

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Introduction: The Poetry of Thomas Hardy (A Special Issue)

 

Thomas Hardy is still far better known as a novelist than he is as a poet. Although certain poems have lodged themselves where, as Frost put it, they will be hard to get rid of, there is still a widespread conviction that much of his poetry is either awkward, difficult or just downright bad.… continue reading...

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All Messed Up: G.M. Palmer on Matthew Dickman

Reviewed: Mayakovsky’s Revolver by Matthew Dickman. Norton, 2012.

Shot full of suicides, clichés, and sex, Matthew Dickman’s Mayakovsky’s Revolver is a collection of poems not unlike A Confederacy of Dunces—a mediocre work made important by personal tragedy. … continue reading...

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The Moving Scene: The Poetry of Descriptions

In one of the great misreadings of one poet by another, John Keats complained to his publisher that, in the poetry of John Clare, “the Description too much prevailed over the Sentiment.” For his part, Clare felt that Keats’s  “descriptions of scenery are often very fine but as it is the case with other inhabitants of great cities he often described nature as she appeared to his fancies & not as he would have described her had he witnessed the things he describes.” Clare and Keats were almost exact contemporaries, shared a publisher and were both social outsiders, but their poetics occupied about as much common ground as the neighbourhoods they grew up in.… continue reading...

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Joan Houlihan and the Role of the Poet-Critic

 

This is the ninth 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...

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