On Poetry Archives - The Millions

September 20, 2016

An Essential Human Respect: Reading Walt Whitman During Troubled Times 15

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Rather than succumbing to self-righteous demonization, Whitman illustrated the power of a human empathy that transcends ideological bellicosity.

September 15, 2016

The Intimately Epic Poem We Need: On ‘IRL’ by Tommy Pico 0

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The digitized, the pop culture, the intimate, the political, and the literary all bleed together, revealing the connective tissue of language that often is as confusing as it is humorous.

September 7, 2016

Weaving Images into Verse: Prose for Poets 0

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Poets should write prose. I say this well aware that suggesting how another should write is akin to telling someone how they should raise their children.

August 29, 2016

The Nu-Audacity School of Poetry 8

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For the Nu-Audacists, being a poet is nothing to celebrate, at least not in any conventional sense.

August 24, 2016

The Many Labors of Philip Levine 1

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To read Philip Levine in this moment is to crack open a road map into the zeitgeist of populist, nativist, and nationalistic sentiments fueling unrest in globalized, post-industrial nations across the world.

July 1, 2016

Songs of Ourselves: Searching for America’s Epic Poem 3

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For all of our tweedy jingoism, the United States seems rare among nations in not having an identifiable and obvious candidate for national epic.

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 8

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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.”