On Verse

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The Tiniest Ark: Jennifer Moore’s The Veronica Maneuver

You never enter the same river twice, according to Heraclitus. Likewise, in Jennifer Moore’s debut collection, The Veronica Maneuver, you never enter the same poem twice—or at least, thanks to…

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Garip: A Turkish Poetry Manifesto (1941)

The Critical Flame is thrilled to present the first English publication of Melih Cevdet Anday, Oktay Rifat, and Orhan Veli’s revolutionary poetry manifesto, Garip, which appeared in Turkish in 1941. The manifesto…

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Kintsugi: On Two New Collections by Simeon Berry

Reading Simeon Berry’s Ampersand Revisited and Monograph one after the other, one has the sense of a continuum marked with lacunae. Although Ampersand Revisited is Berry’s third manuscript and Monograph his…

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A Queer Excess: the Supplication of John Wieners

John Wieners, New York City, November 1993. Photo by Allen Ginsberg. The poetry of John Wieners is lyric, bold, shameless. It is a poetry of dereliction in the face of…

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A Lot from a Little: Demystifying the Aphoristic Poem

“Tulip” by Mark Rothko Aphoristic poems are a verbal sleight of hand: minute, almost indecipherable movements generating outsized effects. In his paper, “Aptness and Truth in Verbal Metaphor,” David Hills writes…

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For whom the trumpet sounds: on Laura Kasischke’s The Infinitesimals

“They are neither finite quantities nor quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?” This epigraph from George Berkeley’s The Analyst primes…

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Truth and Beauty share a tomb: reflecting on 6 classic poems by women

1. “The Author To Her Book” by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth didst by my side remain, Till snatched from thence by…

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The independent seat: on Judith Barrington’s The Conversation

An “independent seat” is a rarely achieved height of equestrian skill, in which mechanical command and response are transformed into a fluid conversation between the bodies of horse and rider. It is…

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Family; or, What It Means to Be a Freak

In Tod Browning’s 1932 film, Freaks, Hans, a sideshow dwarf, falls in love with the beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra, who marries him for his money and plots to poison him…

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You Run, Darling: Mark Doty’s Deep Lane

Mark Doty is tenacious in his in his examination of life and endlessly fussy about his use of words. He makes sure to convey his meaning, whether in the criticism…

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