Berfrois

Remembering Max Ritvo

Remembering Max Ritvo

Two years later, on our first wedding anniversary, we exchanged poems. He died three weeks later. I had written him a poem about trying to make him permanent, and not being able to.

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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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F=A=M=E

F=A=M=E

I once felt quite famous as a poet. Indeed, now that I think of it, 
I have felt famous twice. These two periods of really unsettling fame came back to me recently as I dealt with a young poet at the lending desk of the public library where I’ve...

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When the Russians Came

When the Russians Came

It can’t have been easy for Takolander to write the words “just a tourist really,” but she did it. Using a Finnish word, suo, immediately after this admission is an understandable coping mechanism, a reassertion of expertise that tells the English-speaking reader.

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Kevin Higgins’ 21 Poem Corbyn Salute

Kevin Higgins’ 21 Poem Corbyn Salute

As Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign exploded throughout an otherwise decidedly damp July, it became clear that I had left two factors out of my back of the envelope political calculations.

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Daniel Bosch on Yang Mu

Daniel Bosch on Yang Mu

Yang Mu’s verse autobiographical prose, like his verse, relies on close observation of Taiwan’s landscape, flora, and fauna for imagery and metaphor. Yet if the humidity, the light, the tang in the breeze—the embodied experiences of the young Yang Mu—are distinctly Taiwanese, his themes are broadly human.

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