On Poetry Archives - Page 5 of 7 - The Millions

April 12, 2012

Dream a Little Dream of Me: John Berryman 9


Among the adjectives Vendler applies to Henry are “regressive, petulant, hysterical, childish, cunning, hypersexual, boastful, frightened, shameless, and revengeful.” Also, “complaining, greedy, lustful, and polymorphously perverse.” Did we miss anything? How about self-pitying, irresponsible, envious, and grandiose?

December 28, 2011

Race and American Poetry: Dove v. Vendler 34


Vendler asks us to think of value in terms of a hypothetical and permanent future, one that will have unvarying and therefore conclusive notions of what was good and bad in our writing. It’s an exasperating argument, since it asks us to defer to the critic’s mystical conjuring of our far off progeny, a population that will, of course, have the same values as the critic herself.

November 25, 2011

A Wanderer in Poem Forest 0


My grandfather died two weeks ago, in his bed, by the sea in Maine. Two days earlier, perhaps with a little help from his morphine, he looked out his bay window and said: “I am going to run across that water.”

October 11, 2011

“I am the turnstile”: Roaming with Tomas Tranströmer 4


I’m a rank amateur, but when I read the Boston Globe’s dismissal of Tranströmer as “an elderly Swedish poet virtually unknown outside his homeland,” it felt necessary to speak up with the voice of an amateur.

October 3, 2011

A Poet Laureate from the Proletariat: An Appreciation of Philip Levine 9


I came upon a book of poems that proved to me that art can be made from absolutely anything, from a night-shift job at Chevy Gear & Axle or a job picking Gravenstein apples.

July 4, 2011

Embracing The Other I Am; or, How Walt Whitman Saved My Life 18


The first edition of Leaves of Grass is a poetical Declaration of Independence in so many ways it can be hard to keep track of them all.

April 22, 2011

A Year with Peter Porter 1


Porter had a united vision of the arts, switching in his conversation between literature, music and painting on a whim, but talking about each discipline with equal authority and interest. And then I read his poetry.

April 21, 2011

American Laurels: The Poets Laureate Anthology 4


As a volume in the cultural history of American poetry, there’s no doubt that Elizabeth Hun Schmidt’s The Poets Laureate Anthology is a valuable text. For starters, it’s the only book of its kind.

March 2, 2011

In the Company of Amy Clampitt 2


Two years ago I spent some time in Lenox, Massachusetts, at a house once owned by the poet Amy Clampitt. I slept in her bed, rifled through her books, gazed out the kitchen window at the tree by which her ashes are buried.

January 25, 2011

Dada Pedagogy: Andrei Codrescu’s The Poetry Lesson 2


Regardless of how it’s labeled, The Poetry Lesson is a brilliant work.