According to the prophets, when someone asks you to review their book, you make like Donald and duck (the exception being a good friend). But what about a request that you critique a poem? Tougher, as it's such a small basket of kindness, the sort you might decline only if it's a stranger. But...but! If … Continue reading “Would You Critique My Poem?” (Gulp!)
Sure, The New Yorker is eastern liberal elitist, but does that mean I can't read it any way I want? Pricey at $8.99 (is that the "liberal elitist" part or the "eastern" part?), the magazine came my way free thanks to my daughter who renewed with the option to gift someone a subscription (she wrote … Continue reading Reading ‘The New Yorker’ Backwards
There are many reasons your average bibliophile gives no "phile" to poetry collections. One, maybe he's intimidated. Two, maybe he has a conditioned response thanks to his thankless high school English teacher. And three, maybe he wouldn't know where to begin with a poetry book if he read one to begin with. As the first … Continue reading How To Review a Poetry Collection
The sedentary reader is often moved by his discoveries. Recently I learned about a style of writing Robert Bly referred to as "leaping poetry." In 1975, he defined it as "a long floating leap from the conscious to the unconscious and back again, a leap from the known part of the mind to the unknown … Continue reading Leaping Poetry, or When Poems Make Like Frogs
In education, lectures are vilified with good reason. They are boring. They are so much bombast. They are inflicted by vainglorious pontificators on passive victims who must endure or find ways to daydream through it all. What happens, though, when a speaker is so knowledgeable, silver-tongued, and interesting that the restless audience (or reader) begins … Continue reading Jane Hirshfield as Scheherazade
Here's my review on Dean Young's _The Art of Recklessness_. I read it because I could use a little shaking up. Hell, everybody can. Seems everyone's writing the same poem sixty-seven different ways (that look amazingly similar), my and self included. Young, who has a facility for flights and fancies, makes it look easy--then talks … Continue reading Dean Young on Reckless Poetry
In a 2005 press release upon the death of one of their own former professors, Louise Rosenblatt, New York University published an obituary that included these words about Rosenblatt's pioneering work on reading theory: "While teaching literature to college students, [Rosenblatt] developed an approach that broke with the dominant academic model (the New Criticism), which elevated … Continue reading Who Gets to Determine a Poem’s Meaning?