On Verse

The Particulars of Grief

Reading Rusty Morrison’s After Urgency is like experiencing the unsettling calm after a storm: the sky has turned a disarming shade of blue; the ocean, which took everything, looks deceptively innocent. Wasn’t me….

Why Are There Two Reviews of Wiman’s Mandelstam?

That’s an excellent question. This isn’t the first time that we’ve covered a title more than once — Ben Mazer’s Poems has made several appearances, as we’ve become a sort…

Wiman’s Mandelstam (and Mine)

One evening about thirty five years ago, I was browsing the poetry shelves of College Hill Bookstore, in Providence, and picked up the Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam, translated by…

Stolen Air, Broken Voice

Osip Emilevich Mandelstam was born in Warsaw, a European Jew, in 1891. A subject of the Russian empire, his family was granted the right to move to St. Petersburg when…

It Is in What the Poem Does:
On The Poetry of Ben Mazer

“The poem does an undoglike thing: it purrs.” —Christopher Ricks Even though I made Ben Mazer’s acquaintance only recently (we met at a conference in Claremont this March), in reading…

Bunting’s Persia

Basil Bunting often goes unacknowledged as a major contributing innovator of Modern poetry in English. Rather unfortunately — as Bunting had no love of Academics — the lapse in knowledge…

Death’s Poetic Dominion: On Sandra Gilbert

It may be a truism, but it is still true: death is most difficult for the survivors. When it’s expected — a parent, or someone you love who has suffered…

Blake in the Academe

In 1969, Northrop Frye introduced the new edition of his groundbreaking study of the works of the poet William Blake, with some offhand comments about its genesis: “The doctoral thesis…

Stuart Blazer’s Ruffled Surf

That silo you never saw until today was yours the day you were born. –Richard Hugo Why don’t you make a mistake and do something right. –Sun Ra Man was…

No Reason to Get Suspicious

Let’s get this out of the way first: the writing of Paul Legault’s The Other Poems is not beautiful. I’m not sure you can call anything beautiful that features Jean-Paul…

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