On Poetry Archives - The Millions

April 20, 2016

These Poems Will Never Become a Nostalgic Object 0

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There is a feeling in this book that a language is coming to the speaker of the poem in the very act of composition — that is, in real time.

April 8, 2016

Enormous Zippers Unfastening: Ten Poems for the End of the World 3

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Novelists and essayists ponder the apocalypse, but poems are particularly suited toward capturing the anxiety of the end.

January 5, 2016

The Whispered Language of Secrets and Fears: Ten Poems for People Who Hate Poetry 6

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Novels might bore, and short stories can frustrate, but poetry is the only genre of literature that elicits consistent hate.

October 29, 2015

Rival Muses: on Jonathan Bate’s ‘Ted Hughes: The Unauthorized Life’ 4

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With an archive of blistering personal data at his disposal, but Hughes’s very human survivors more or less at his mercy, Bate faced a crushing ethical dilemma. The work that followed seems perpetually caught between the thrill of scandal and compulsion to soften the blow by selectively presenting Hughes’s most incendiary work as “symbolic.”

October 15, 2015

Conspiring with the Dead: On the Power of Reading Poetry Aloud 3

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In poetry’s respiratory patterns, frozen in verse forms that enable us to breathe in concert with their authors, we may discover evidence of a shared humanity.

July 29, 2014

“Story with a Real Beast and a Little Blood”: on Rose McLarney’s Its Day Being Gone 0

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Appalachian literature plays an elegaic refrain. It is a literature of dislocation and transition and survival.

July 21, 2014

Americans Love Poetry, But Not Poetry Books 8

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Although the audience for poetry is vast, despite the very hard and creative work being done by publishers, this wider audience hasn’t yet crossed the bridge from reading poetry into buying poetry books.

July 18, 2014

The Saddest Poem Ever Written 13

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Novels have hurt me. Stories have punctured my skeptical skin. Essays have made me rethink the world. But a melancholic poem shatters me.

July 9, 2014

Performance Anxiety: When Poets Read Aloud 14

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Why do some poets perform as though they had just come to in a bad dream?

June 13, 2014

Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline: The New Jersey Poems of Timothy Walsh 0

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When the World Was Rear-Wheel Drive understands that loss is imminent and inevitable, and that the things we have lost are beyond retrieval. That’s what makes it so painful, and so lovely.