Berfrois

Two Lines of Poetic Development

Two Lines of Poetic Development

What seems to me chiefly remarkable in the popular conception of a Poet is its unlikeness to the truth. Misconception in this case has been flattered, I fear, by the poets themselves.

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The Goethezeit

The Goethezeit

If he hadn’t lived from 1749 to 1832, safely into the modern era and the age of print, but had instead flourished when Shakespeare did, there would certainly be scholars today theorizing that the life and work of half a dozen men had been combined under Goethe’s name.

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Tui

Tui

Here are some words I’ve been writing down recently: Mingimingi. Ponga. Horoeka. Titoki.

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An ecopoem is urgent, it aims to unsettle…

An ecopoem is urgent, it aims to unsettle…

A familiar argument against didactic poetry is that it preaches to the choir. A poem should not preach, but it may teach the choir a new tune, the chorus a new step.

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Elisa Gabbert Talks Twitter

Elisa Gabbert Talks Twitter

Some of my tweets are aphoristic, absolutely. Like “Aphorisms are essays,” the tweet that I turned into the title of that essay.

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With Weighty Grief

With Weighty Grief

Seminole Chief Osceola (1804–1838), George Catlin, 1838 From Poets.org: The earliest recorded written poem by a native person was composed by “Eleazer” who was a senior at Harvard College in 1678. He most likely died before graduating. We do not know anything about Eleazer’s life. All we have is his...

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What is blue?

What is blue?

Maggie Nelson’s Bluets takes aim at one of today’s most beloved forms of writing—the autobiography—coyly challenging the genre’s attachment to truthful stories of the self and the form thought best to convey them.

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Popular poetry aspires to a public life in the United Kingdom…

Popular poetry aspires to a public life in the United Kingdom…

As I read postwar British poetry fully, I became less enamoured with the Movement tones of Phillip Larkin or Donald Davie and reviled their small, digestible, miserable artifacts of everyday British life.

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Alone With the Cat

Alone With the Cat

Born in 1972 (or, as the back cover of his new book of poems puts it, “during the Nixon administration”), Michael Robbins experienced, growing up, a tremendous run of good luck.

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What Rhythm Holds

What Rhythm Holds

In thinking of the innovative lyric, it seems useful to look at archaic lyric, since it too was experimental in its day - maybe even wildly so.

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Byron had wanted to keep Shelley’s skull…

Byron had wanted to keep Shelley’s skull…

Francis Gastrell was very annoyed. He had bought a nice new house only to find hordes of uninvited guests tramping through his garden and helping themselves to sprigs and branches from his mulberry tree.

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A Piano of Bourbon

A Piano of Bourbon

"Don’t go down the rabbit hole,” my husband tells me, but it’s too late. It is 3 A.M. and I am still at my desk, the lamp burning hot on my notebook.

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Joe Linker on Li Po

Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping.

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