current poetry: emergency measures

Failed nation states are often obliged to impose such 'emergency measures' as:

1. Restriction of personal liberties

  • legislation against reactionary elements, e.g. modernist campaign

  • levelling down to a proletarian equality, e.g. plebeian attitudes

2. Takeover of essential supplies and services

3. Devalued currency

  • not traded beyond borders, e.g. contemporary styles that do not cope with poetries of other countries or epochs.

  • ad hoc design, e.g. strange argot

  • barter economies, e.g. non-verbal exchanges

  • complete breakdown, e.g. deceits of language

Modernist Campaign

American poetry in the early years of the twentieth century was popular and profitable, having, its supporters declared, the ability to "beget spiritual sensibility, to build character, and to refine one's sense of beauty, truth, or morality." {1} Modernists were following other concerns, however, {2} and their 'unpoetic' productions did not much feature in mass-circulation magazines or later radio shows. High Modernism and the New Criticism eventually triumphed, after a long battle through the universities, becoming the reigning orthodoxy in the 1940-50 period, {3} {4} when poets who had written excellent but alas popular poetry — Kipling, {5} Masefield, {6} del la Mare {7} — were 'reassessed' and marked down. Improved university courses passed them by, and their rehabilitation continues to depend on approved Modernist elements being identified among their other features.

The fight was bitter, and hostility naturally continued long after victory, against all forms of tradition, {8} and society in general, {9} however unreasonable. Inevitably, with triumph of the Modernist paradigm, came unswerving belief in the innate correctness of its views, and these beliefs are held just as firmly as those of the American Academy of Arts and Letters that for thirty years stood opposed to the "the lawlessness of the literary Bolsheviki [that] has invaded every form of composition." {10} Modernism today may be no more aware of increasing dissatisfaction with its narrow views than had been the earlier Academy that "irony and pastiche and parody and a conscious fever of innovation-through-rupture would overcome notions of nobility, spirituality, continuity, harmony, uncomplicated patriotism, romanticized classicism." And if these last pieties seem strange now, they may be what people outside the small nation of serious poetry have often accepted, and still do on state occasions.

Modernism also set itself against science, which was demonstrably successful in wider areas of life. The wiser course might have been to study the enemy, and understand what science can and cannot do, but Modernism stressed the irrational aspects of its heritage. Words could mean anything their author intended, provided that intention broke with the past (Post-Colonial studies), and recognized that language was complicit with repression (Foucault) and/or lacked any settled meaning (Deconstruction).

Plebeian Attitudes

That being the case, anything of the old regime, with its 'gentility' and elitist notions of excellence, was suspect, and contemporary poets and poetry still aggressively espouse a proletariat culture. {11} Open-neck shirts are required for late-night TV arts appearances, and poets adopt a similar dress code at readings. Artists can surely please themselves in these matters, but the posing seems childish if it serves chiefly to antagonizes the middle-class, book-buying public. Many younger poets promoted by the UK Poetry Society draw their inspiration from Philip Larkin's matter-of factness in tone and subject matter, {12} and a similar belligerence is apparent in the small presses and the semi-official Academy of American Poets.

Educational Orthodoxy

Poetry moves on, and together with the great masterworks of the past there is a need for contemporary poems that will appeal to high school students not majoring in literature. But do the usual anthologies, {13} well-intentioned and admirably produced, really make converts? Quality is not outstanding in the more recent work, and it may be patronizing to suppose students can't tell the difference.

Translation Difficulties

Translation has become a large industry, with many Internet sites devoted to the business. {14} But how much conveys even an inkling of the original as poetry, or even faithfully represents the fuller sense? Poetry originally written as free verse should obviously be translated as the same article, with as much local colour and colloquial candour as possible. But where the poetry was written in strict forms, obeying complex conventions, it surely asks for something comparable in English. The 'emergency coinage' of Modernism' is here at a disadvantage, {15} and renderings even more 'contemporary' do violence to one good reason for reading foreign poetry, which is to understand different mindsets and perspectives. {16}

Strange Diction

To quote an expression from the Indian subcontinent, if prose is the body of language, poetry is its flower. Losses in the vocabulary, range of reference and stylistic devices in poetry are therefore grievously felt, yet those losses have continued for two hundred years now, and have been self-imposed. The rich vocabularies of Romanticism and nineteenth-century mediaevalism have been dropped, and not made good by twentieth-century additions. The high-flown rhetoric of patriotism fitted ill with the realities of modern warfare, and radio and then television have replaced colourful local expression with an impersonal and often bureaucratic language. Advertising has destroyed sincerity, and politicians, in striving to remain ahead of an increasingly skeptical electorate, have made even well-meaning generalities sound calculating. The average citizen devours yards of newsprint every day, and remembers not a word of it.

No longer is language a mark of class, and therefore an incentive to employ appropriately. Cinema and to some extent the theatre, perhaps radicalized by what they see as big-business imperialism, prefer words close to vulgarity, even though the resulting dialogue only stereotypes characters. Bluntness is seen as honesty, and the most obvious difference between amateur and serious poets is the words the latter do not use.

Try this experiment. Which of the following snippets of poetry appeared on popular sites, and which in serious poetry outlets? (Click on the links to view the whole text):

Exhibit One {17}

I Miss You All NNA

         It’s been thirty years
           Different times then
            Same man, I think
              Couple of stone
                Bit of a stoop
                 Less hair
               Funny eye
              Gammy leg
            Not much wiser
       I remember that time
     That night in Samantha’s  
‘Twenty-one-today’ and all that
All you guys not in my life anymore
Whatever happened to you big Dave?
 Best scrapper I ever came across
   Really just a daft, friendly giant
    You saved my ass a few times
      Glad you were on my side
        And Jenny, my first love
         You broke my heart


Exhibit Two {18}

Red Poppy

That linkage of warnings sent a tremor through June
as if to prepare October in the hardest apples.
One week in late July we held hands
through the bars of his hospital bed. Our sleep
made a canopy over us and it seemed I heard
its durable roaring in the companion sleep
of what must have been our Bedouin god, and now
when the poppy lets go I know it is to lay bare
his thickly seeded black coach
at the pinnacle of dying.


Exhibit Three: {19}

The Twittering Machine

Frozen bright without praise or imitation, rather omniscient and silly but lit by flagpoles luminescent from the belly up, the machine is wired like spaghetti.

Around it truck fenders slam and spin, galoshes jostle in front-loaded washers, chevy doors clink glasses together in some sort of toast. Ambassadors grill each other, expressionless.

Nimbus blue, the red freighter (sailing under the accidental flag of America) burns. The toy is hung on its own hinge, chance and wind revolve it.

The gunman aims, toy ducks, the colorful regardlessness of blood.

Obvious: exhibits two and three were from serious poetry outlets, and exhibit three was in fact a Pushcart Prize nominee. But what about their language? Suppose you receive exhibits one and two as private letters: which would be the more natural? Number one. The second seems so odd — and remember it appeared in The Academy of American Poets — that you'd probably find yourself ringing its author to check that all was well. Who uses phrases like durable roaring, companion sleep or pinnacle of dying, and what would they accomplish in the larger world of language — in a letter to a bank manager or local newspaper? The currency has very restricted use.

Passing on, we now ask: why do serious poets feel impelled to print their own money? Possibly to:

  1. squeeze more significance out of words than they possess in the everyday market place.

  2. show a badge of allegiance to various poetry beliefs or movements.

  3. use words in a more primary and vivid sense, bypassing associations that have been 'infected' with commerce or government or outmoded literary practice: a barter economy

  4. flag repressions and lacunae that deconstructionists find in language.

:Increased Significance

In theory, all poems get the utmost from words and have to, as poetry is an art of selection and compression. Particularly is this so in non-European poetry: Chinese poems rework phrases from celebrated masters, and imagery in Persian ghazals can be an extended play on Sufi terminology. But of course traditional poetry in Sanskrit, Persian and even Chinese lost much of its power as the civilizations it supported passed away, and poetry in all these areas has come under European influence, with mixed results. Poetry in English also employed a heightened language to create passages of significant thought and beauty, but since neither is generally an aim of contemporary work we should not extrapolate too much from the past. Start with poetry as it is now. In Geoffrey Hill's September Song, the bureaucratic language adds to the horror: {20}

September Song

born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42

Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.

As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.

From September Song by Geoffrey Hill

And Robert Lowell's Man and Wife relishes the ungarnished facts: {21}

Man and Wife

Tamed by Miltown, we lie on Mother's bed;
the rising sun in war paint dyes us red;
in broad daylight her gilded bed-posts shine,
abandoned, almost Dionysian.

Now twelve years later, you turn your back.
Sleepless, you hold
your pillow to your hollows like a child;
your old-fashioned tirade--
loving, rapid, merciless--
breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head.

From Man and Wife by Robert Lowell. From Selected Poems by Robert Lowell, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Copyright © 1976, 1977 by Robert Lowell.

Neither employs a language out of kilter with everyday usage. True, you will say, but the poems are formal, by acknowledged masters of their craft, with very full deployment of verse techniques. So let's consider two poems that seem less constructed. Debra Kaufman's Clare on Love: {22}

Clare on Love

There's no food but angel cake,
mousse, and meringue.
Your hair? Cut it short and chic, then shimmy
into a dress that's pure frou-frou.
Now you feel Parisienne,
think Colette, think Truffaut,
think Jean-Paul Belmondo.
He kisses your fingertips,
you breathe his scent,
the air is charged with molecules of zing,
voices are music, and the nights
zip and swoop by like swallows.
................. Mais alors ...................

From Clare on Love by Debra Kaufman. Oyster Boy Review 8

and Alice Person's Talk {23}


But sometimes
I just want you
to gently shut me up

to stop my talking mouth
with kisses

to express

silently with lips, hands,
skin on skin

to murmur the language
of lust

and speak tenderness
only in Braille.

From Talk by Alice Persons. Hearsay: Poetry Written by Lawyers.

Delightful, but still showing careful crafting? Very well: let's conclude with something more experimental: Robert Kelley's Sermon on Language, which reads as an essay: {24}

Sermon on Language

You do not have to think very long or hard to learn that all mysteries are ensconced in language and extractable from language, and that obedience to the intricacies of language in turn reveals the exact astro-dynamic efflorescent energy of place and circumstance we nickname Truth. The con- juncture. The lock. The habit the heart wears in the market, the song it hums in the bathroom, the text encoded in its midnight snores. Language is astrology indoors, it is the moon in the bed- room and the sun in your pocket, its rules are your rules and there is hardly a rumor - though there is a rumor - of anyone disobedient to its prescriptions. Timid Nietzsche and meek Blake followed its laws like lambs, and Lenin lay down with De Maistre to graze on public language. Only the one - there was one - who woke up to the sleep of named things ever broke the lodge law and got away with it. All the way away. Fainting, we follow.

From Sermon on Language by Robert Kelly. 1993.

The conclusion, I think — though five brief examples are hardly convincing — is that divorcing the language of poetry from everyday usage does not increase its powers, but rather the opposite.

:Badge of Allegiance

The next thing to note is that all writing shows allegiances. Novelists and playwrights understand that convincing dialogue requires the jargon and turns of phrase that distinguish the various trades. An engineer or lawyer indeed knows on going through the mail whether a letter is from a fellow professional, and responds in similar terms. Journalists who change newspaper also change their style, and must do if the sub-editor is not to be kept irritated and unnecessarily busy.

America is not the UK, and, through William Carlos Williams and his followers, its poetry developed new aims. Literature was to arise from live contact with the world, which it should make more vivid and significant. Experience is discontinuous, and poetry should reflect this fact. Language as locally used is the ideal tongue, and it should not be encumbered by excessive connotations, ponderings, symbolism and the like. However trite and banal the result might seem, even to appearing no more than chopped-up prose, poetry is not so different from normal speech, just a bit more personal and concise. Make it realistic. Don’t rehash old themes. Forget the classics, foreign languages, poetry craft and other leftovers from a European culture. A good poem is personal and short and unpretentious. Here is an admirable example: Jogging with Oscar by Walt McDonald: {25}

Jogging with Oscar

I've seen that hunger in other dogs. I watched my wife
for forty years brush dogs that didn't need the love he does.
When my children visit, my oldest grandsons trot with him
to the park, that glossy, auburn sausage tugging and barking,

showing off. The toddlers squat and pat him on his back.
They touch his nose and laugh, and make him lick them on the lips.
Good Oscar never growls, not even if they fall atop him.
He was a gift from them, last Christmas, a dog their pop

could take for walks and talk to. Oscar would have loved my wife,
who spoiled and petted our old dogs for decades, coaxing them up
for tidbits on the couch beside her, offering all the bliss
a dog could wish for, a hand to lick, a lap to lay their heads.

From Jogging with Oscar by Walt McDonald. From Blessings the Body Gave, published by Ohio State University Press. Copyright © 1998 by Walt McDonald.

And very different is Richard Moore's In the Dark Season, equally good, but employing the Romantic imagery that Williams detested: {26}

In the Dark Season

I fall out of the foliage of my feelings.
That is the beginning, the ending,
when the orange peels appear
from the shrinking lips of the snow
and broken bottles, still clinging to their labels,
in the gutter outside the church.
A silk stocking coils in the mud.
In the dark season, someone has sown
the seed of confusion. The church will graze
on the flowers, the fruits of love,
the soft nutritious pulp of remorse.
Do these events signify
summertime in another hemisphere?
One studied a new language in the darkness,
looked far down into the well,
into the hints of sunlight in its depths.

From In the Dark Season by Richard Moores.

Conclusion? Only that poets who wish to place work in magazines of their choice must be alive to these distinctions.

Bypassing Words: Barter Economies

Many poets of the Romantic period and later believed that imagination offered access to a knowledge superior to that given by rational analysis, and this view is an important strand of Modernist and Postmodernist poetry. Poets will often use imagery to explore something beyond normal apprehension, and try by linked images to 'say things' or produce effects not achievable otherwise.

Compare the syntax that produces something that extends beyond immediate experience in this snippet from Archibald MacLeish: {27}

You, Andrew Marvell

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls
And loom and slowly disappear
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more
The low pale light across that land

From You, Andrew Marvell by Archibald MacLeish. Copyright © by the Estate of Archibald MacLeish.

with this extract of a poem by Paul Celan, which relies on striking but enigmatic images: {28}


Autumn eats its leaf out of my hand: we are friends.
From the nuts we shell time and we teach it to walk:
then time returns to the shell.

In the mirror it's Sunday,
in dream there is room for sleeping,
our mouths speak the truth.

My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one:
we look at each other,
we exchange dark words,
we love each other like poppy and recollection,
we sleep like wine in the conches,
like the sea in the moon's blood ray.

From Fugue of Death by Paul Celan. Translator unstated.

The MacLeish piece is accomplished, and more so if the classical associations are brought to mind, but the Paul Celan poem is the more powerful, with a nightmarish quality, as though we were living quietly after some dreadful event — which indeed we are: Celan is referring to the holocaust and its long shadow. And however strange they seem, many words and phrases, even in this translation, do seem 'correct' or acceptable.

So: does this example release poetry from a need to employ words in everyday meanings? It must seem so, but there is a cost. Celan's successful poems were comparatively few, and grew increasingly obscure to his death by suicide in 1970. Ezra Pound, who used a similar but less troubled system of 'ideograms' doubted in the end whether their deployment in the Cantos had been successful. Perhaps all that these attempts show — and I offer the thought merely as a suggestion — is that poetry needs all the powers it has traditionally assumed, which means a language fuller not essentially different from its everyday usage.

Currency Breakdown: Deceits of Language

Separate from language was the outside world, which language imperfectly represented. So thought most poets, until recently, when a more tribal view has prevailed. Poems are objects wholly constituted of whatever words they are written in. No correspondence with the outside world is needed, and language itself is not to be trusted. It plays tricks on us, is subject to dementias, and may be complicit with matters we suppress for political, economic or psychological reasons.

Though these views are very contentious, often have an anti-capitalist orientation, and come from a misreading of Saussure and others, the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement adopted its premises to create a poetry that largely does away with outside reference, with expressions of thought or feeling, or supposed control over the work. Poems happen, and happen properly when the poet is fully conscious of the nature of language he is using. Inevitably, that nature is coded into the poem, and the poet's task is to make that code as transparent and entertaining as possible.

With this in mind, we look at the last section of a poem by Pamela Alexander, Volume 80 of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, which comes with an introduction from James Merrill: {29}



the clutter of sensations, the shriek and clatter
of tools at landing fields, she renews
herself, like the engine, for
one thing. Flight
above the wine-dark shining flood
is order, makes the squares
come and go, makes the plane
a tiny gear that turns the world. "Of all those things
external to the task at hand, we clutch
what we can."

                   She leaves the plane briefly to join
a crowd of Javanese walking up a volcanic mountain.
They laugh and talk, they carry baskets
and various loads on poles. "Sometime
I hope to stay somewhere as long as I like." For

the last long passage she abandons personal items,
souvenirs; also the parachute, useless over the Pacific.
The plane staggers with the weight of fuel,
becomes lighter and then
light. The last square has
an island in it, but cannot
lead her there.

From Flight by Pamela Alexander. Parts of the Globe.

Merrill points to the minimal view of the world seen by pilot/poet, and the spiritual quest implicit in the airy phrasing. The poem opens with A series of white squares, each an hour's flying time, each with instructions in pencil: the organized adventure, and fittingly closes with a square that remains out of reach. On one level a child's game, where the instructions never quite answer to experience, but on another perhaps — a doubtful perhaps, as the poem evades easy categories — an extended analogy for life itself. And that is all. We cannot in the end say what the poem is about, or the exact meaning of "Of all those things external to the task at hand, we clutch what we can." Why should we do that? And what exactly is the poet/pilot looking for? We are not given answers, but simply led on into a perplexing but often hypnotic kaleidoscope of images only loosely associated. The interest is the journey, not what we make of it.

Postmodernist Restrictions

To be accepted in good literary society, a poem has to don contemporary dress, that comes at a cost. Here is a fairly accessible example from the American Poetry Review, which which won the Honickman First Book Prize in Poetry for 2003. {30} I am assuming that the poem is complete, and is not one of sequence where enigmatic elements are expanded and explained later.


It would be here, the light soaring
Above the grasses, the flats that stretch
Across a bay or river gap, here the light
Molten, the birds glints


30. Apprehended only as light, the world
As light alone, speechless here
Except that, that single expanse,
Something nothing can penetrate, they said.

From Estuarine by James McCorkle.

The speaker is gazing across river flats, which glisten in the light, wondering what to make of the scene. To facilitate a dialogue he introduces the It would be here, which appears in lines 1 and 8, and takes the reader through what is mostly description to line 23. Then follow three sections. Lines 24 to 27 say, broadly paraphrased, that we need to make sense of these impressions, however much that hurts. Lines 28 to 31 say the understanding can only be in terms of light. And the concluding lines refute the previous conclusion, introducing a they that says such a scene cannot be penetrated by anything. Before we turn to the last, puzzling lines, we can note the quiet tone, and a stress which, though it varies from two (Each ángle's additíon) to five (Íts necéssity a geómetry of únderstánding) per line, seems somehow to give the lines equal weight. Also the many acute observations: the mirage-effect of birds seen in the dazzle (the birds glints / Of turned glass), the heavy glare (Heaping up in weight, the sky Pressured by its fullness), the light glittering on the water at a distance (Green turning powdery). There are some things to question ( sacred Vistas, dampness) but at this level the poem largely achieves its aims: evocative and exact description.

Now comes the real point. The speaker is not simply observing these things, he is imagining what lies beneath (The movement of ray and eel-grass / In the outflow. . .), what could be recorded by instruments (Toxins graphed), or what has an abstract resonance (slow spillage / As across an icon). The last introduces a hint of menace (What we know hurts us), which is given a sharp generality in the first of the three final sections (geometry of understanding, etc.). Then we are told (penultimate section) that our very observing of the scene is through light, though we add our own interpretations, the light itself saying nothing (speechless). Without that interpretation we can't see anything, or say what will be intelligible to other people (they said). The poem is commenting on itself, which is usual in Postmodernist work, though this is less playful than most.

Each genre develops its own expectations, but in a novel or feature article the observations serve a purpose. In the 'behind enemy lines' article that begins with It was still dark when we slipped quietly out of the village of Bagh-e Kargha and took up positions in the dry wadi. . . the reader is being prepared for battle: dark, quietly, positions. If, later in the article, we learn that the enemy was nowhere near, and that the troops spent a week crouched in uncomfortable positions before the order came to move on, we'd be exasperated. Yes, that may indeed have been what happened, but it doesn't make a story. Contemporary poetry follows other rules. It tries very hard not to say the obvious, to maintain a cool tone and create a wary dissonance with expectations. It most certainly does not play on feelings, and shuns traditional forms for that reason, because of their emotive power. We can call this intellectual honesty if we wish, but we can still ask what role is played by such phrases as: the light soaring, the light molten, the light finds its measure, heaping up in weight, the sky pressured by its fullness, where everything is below surface, below light's press. A novelist would develop some of these in ways that prepared us for the story:

And when I took the bus back, and stood looking across the bay where the boat had gone down, I realised that I had not been lightheaded or drunk with the freedom of being at the helm that afternoon, but had felt instead the threatening pressure of the light, that it was in fact that brilliance and not me which made the decision to venture still further out.

Or brought out some aspect of a character:

I am not, as I say, an unsociable character, but someone more aware of the changing seasons. My host was still chattering, but I could feel the light finding its own measure, flattening this seaside town into dabs of white and pink as it rose above the glinting silver of the bay.

Or hinted at things being different from what they seemed.

Even the clouds, if you looked carefully—and I was looking very carefully after the last revelation—were heaping up their weight, pressing down on the ordinary lives of Weymouth hoteliers and their guests.

We accept 'fine writing' not for itself, but for what it achieves, what it can draw into the story and add in extra dimensions. That in its different way was what we once expected of poetry, which didn't tease us with clever thoughts, but developed the suggestions of individual lines into something larger than what brings this particular poem to a premature end. By contemporary standards, Estuarine is an excellent poem, intriguing and accomplished, but would have been better still without the Postmodernist posturing.

References and Resources

1. Joseph Harrington, "Why American Poetry is Not American Literature.," American Literary History 8, no. 3 (1996) Q
2. Harriet Monroe's Poetry and Canadian Poetry. James Doyle. On the slow and uncertain emergence of Modernism.
3. From Petit to Langpo: A History of Solipsism and Experience In Mainstream American Poetics Since the Rise of Creative Writing. Gabriel Gudding. Extended essay, with references.
4. Michael T. Van Dyke, "Joseph Harrington, Poetry and the Public: The Social Form of Modern U.S. Poetics," American Studies International 42, no. 2-3 (2004) Q
5. Longfellow & the fate of modern poetry. John Derbyshire. Dec. 2000. NNA. New Criterion article that touches on Kipling.
6. John Masefield. Small but useful site devoted to the poet.
7. 'Stepping Out of the Gloaming' : A Reconsideration of the Poetry of Walter de la Mare. Richard Hawking. NNA. Articles criticising the dominance of modernism in literary academia.
8. Death of Literature by Alvin Kernan. 1992. Review by Paul Trout.
9. The Last Great Critic. Jul. 2000. Atlantic Online review of Lionel Trilling and the Critics: Opposing Selves.
10. Against modernity: the American Academy in the ’20s by Cynthia Ozick NNA. The New Criterion Vol. 13, No. 1, September 1994.
11. The Poetry House.
12. UK and Irish Poets. NNA.
13. Some examples: Michael Meyer, Poetry: An Introduction. 4th Edition. (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004); Robert Wallace and Michelle Boisseau, Writing Poems (Longman, 2003); Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (W.W. Norton and Co., 2000).
14. E.g. Poetry International Web.
15. John Simon, "Victimized Verlaine," New Criterion, June 1999, 29. Review of One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, translated by Norman R. Shapiro. Q
16. Vincent Katz (trans.), The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius, (Princeton Univ. Press, 2004) Review by J.L. Butrica.
17. I Miss You All. Mick Treacy. 2004. NNA.
18. Red Poppy. Tess Gallagher. 1992.
19. The Twittering Machine. Bill Yake. 1997.
20. September Song. Geoffrey Hill.
21. Man and Wife. Robert Lowell.
22. Clare on Love. Debra Kaufman. NNA.
23. Talk. Alice Persons. Hearsay: Poetry Written by Lawyers. NNA.
24. Sermon on Language by Robert Kelly. April 1993.
25. Jogging with Oscar. Walt McDonald. 1998.
26. In the Dark Season by Richard Moores.
27. You, Andrew Marvell. Archibald MacLeish.
28. Corona. Paul Celan. Translator unstated.
29. Flight. Pamela Alexander. From Parts of the Globe.
30. Estuarine from James McCorkle's Evidence. American Poetry Review Book Prize NNA.
31. Many such measures and common aspects of revolutions generally are detailed in Crane Brinton's Anatomy of Revolution. Vintage Books, 1965.


C. John Holcombe   |  About the Author    | ©     2007 2012 2013 2015.   Material can be freely used for non-commercial purposes if cited in the usual way.