On Verse

Reading Gabriel Gudding

I. G.G. and the Humble Sublime Gabriel Gudding is an upstart crow, the only shake-scene in the country. The scene he shakes and bobbles is not merely the snow-globe of…

In Search of Small Gods
by Jim Harrison
Hardcover, $22.00
Copper Canyon Press, 2009

Running on Fumes: Jim Harrison’s In Search of Small Gods

A successful Orphic poetics often depends on the poet’s ability to arrest the reader’s critical faculties and to sustain that suspension across a traumatic arc. It is a high-romantic, if…

Planisphere
by John Ashbery
Hardcover, $24.95
HarperCollins
2009

Diet Verse: John Ashbery’s Planisphere

“Readings” of John Ashbery’s poetry have been a contentious point in critical and scholarly circles for more than half a century. It is commonly held by acolytes and detractors alike…

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The Transformation of Roses

It is tempting, as William H. Gass writes in Reading Rilke (Basic Books), to organize Rainer Maria Rilke’s life story around the several themes that obsessed and stalked him, particularly the image…

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The Sensuous Archaism of C.P. Cavafy

W.H. Auden famously observed that Cavafy’s poetry seemed to survive translation remarkably well, and that it was marked by “a tone of voice, a personal speech immediately recognizable as a…

The Budding Bucolic D.A. Powell

In the course of just three collections — Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails — D.A. Powell has proven himself to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable American poets writing today. His work is…

Kid-Gloved: New & Selected Poems by Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion has now been an acclaimed poet for more than thirty years—he won Oxford University’s Newdigate prize while an undergraduate in 1975—and has been Britain’s poet laureate for the…

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Geoffrey Hill: Unparalleled Atonement

I. The recently published edition of Geoffrey Hill’s Selected Poems appears to be an attempt by Yale University Press to atone for Hill’s unpardonable lapse from print on these shores, and I…

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