Poetry

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Bookstore MFA

Bookstore MFA

This conversation took place over the phone and on Google docs. ¤ PAUL LEGAULT: Portland’s a great place to write, right? CARL ADAMSHICK: Yeah. I love Portland. There seems to be an inordinate ...

When the War Is Over

When the War Is Over

When the War Is Over   When the war is over We will be proud of course the air will be Good for breathing at last The waters will have been improved the salmon And the silence of heaven will mi...

The View from His Words

The View from His Words

I MAJOR POETS make themselves, with effort; they are not born. I would argue that many major poets begin minor, though the best of them begin with the promise of becoming major. They begin weird, ou...

Signifying Nothing

Signifying Nothing

IT COMES LATE in the play, this claim that language is too late: “There would have been a time for such a word.” And with that, Macbeth launches into one of the most meaningful speeches about mea...

Imperial Mashup: Aimee Suzara’s "Souvenir"

Imperial Mashup: Aimee Suzara’s "Souvenir"

IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, museum exhibits are but elaborate morgues, displays of postmortem objects meant to hint at their former lives, artifacts but arranged bones meant to perform a story. Photographs...

The Curse of Byron

The Curse of Byron

ONE OF THE MOST famous incidents in the course of the Romantic movement is the ghost-story challenge issued by George Gordon, Lord Byron, in the course of a summer evening in 1816 at the Villa Diodati...

The Work of Mourning

The Work of Mourning

THE FIRST POEM that sprang to mind when I tried to recall a modern elegy was “Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter” by John Crowe Ransom. Ransom (1888–1974) is not a poet whose work I know well...

How Much Does "Does Poetry Matter" Matter?

How Much Does "Does Poetry Matter" Matter?

Image: Man Ray: "Poem, Paris, mai (may)," 1924   THIS WEEKEND, The New York Times went all in for poetry. In addition to six — count ‘em — articles about poetry in the Revi...

Death and Revelations

Death and Revelations

IF YOU FOLLOW contemporary poetry closely — and maybe even if you don’t — it can get all too easy to mistake the poetry for the debates about it: should it get populist, or turn digital, or spe...