Berfrois

Ed Simon: Possess the Origin of all Poems

Ed Simon: Possess the Origin of all Poems

Underneath the volcanic ash and debris of Herculaneum, the elegant smaller sister of Pompeii, there is the earliest example of a chiseled wall writing that has come to be called the Sator Square...

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Meta may be the defining characteristic of the poet’s novel..

Meta may be the defining characteristic of the poet’s novel..

When I heard that a previously unpublished Sylvia Plath short story would appear in January 2019, I requested an electronic galley and then let the file sit unopened in my inbox for several weeks. I felt apprehensive, even frightened of it.

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Nonsense!

Nonsense!

The English writer Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876) is an exceptionally difficult read. In it, a crew of improbable characters boards a ship to hunt a Snark...

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Abot the Whord

Abot the Whord

In the mid-1990s, when I was a student of creative writing, there prevailed a quiet but firm admonition to avoid composing political poems.

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A Travelogue Review by Scherezade Siobhan

A Travelogue Review by Scherezade Siobhan

I land at Heathrow and am met by my blistered checked-in bags. Somewhere between Muscat and London, Oman Air had managed to transfer our luggage...

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Soaring, Flying

Soaring, Flying

At one point, Flights’ narrator finds herself gazing at a sarira, a fleck-like relic that sometimes remains after the cremation of the corpse of a Buddhist spiritual master, and wonders...

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Candy Intake

Candy Intake

When I was an undergraduate way back in the ’80s, colleges and universities tended to treat creative writing classes like candy; too many would make you sick and weak.

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Ed Simon: Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Ed Simon: Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Raleigh is often remembered as a dignified refugee from the Elizabethan world of courtier scholars, who was abandoned by a Stuart monarchy...

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“What rhymes with love?”

“What rhymes with love?”

My personal failed attempt at adolescence: too fat to comfortably fit in the largest (read: not that large!) female band uniform, hopeless awkwardness that manifested itself as a torrent of marginally funny jokes...

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‘I wanted to carve it out of me’

‘I wanted to carve it out of me’

Instead of approaching the material with the detached view of a historian or anthropologist, Yoon’s A Cruelty uses empathy and poetry to dramatize the traumas the comfort women have suffered.

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‘Trees, a field, and sky’

‘Trees, a field, and sky’

A couple of years ago I was living in Knebel, down by Mols. My window had a view of trees, a field, and sky. I carried on long conversations with that view

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Try Clavics

Try Clavics

In the beginning, there is polyphony, false starts, botched experiments, and mixed motives. Usually.

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Poetry on the Front Line

Poetry on the Front Line

The canonization of the Moscow poet Kirill Medvedev (born 1975) seems to be taking place in real time: in the past several years, international and critical audiences began catching on to a distinctive voice familiar to Moscow literary circles since the early 2000s.

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Before the Tempest Hurl’d

Before the Tempest Hurl’d

Hunt started his working life as a surgeon’s apprentice before making a living, at different times, as a chemist and druggist, a statistician with the geological survey, and a professor at the School of Mines in London.

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Devin King on Lindsay Turner

Devin King on Lindsay Turner

If you open Lindsay Turner’s new book of poems, Songs and Ballads, at random, you’re going to be looking at a poem that’s meant to be sung, and it’s more than likely on a topic you would never think to sing about...

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Jessica Sequeira: Julio Barrenechea in India

Jessica Sequeira: Julio Barrenechea in India

Sun of India, Barrenechea’s book of poems, was published in New Delhi while he was living there. At first read, it may seem a simple take on the traditions of the country as filtered through the sensibility of the poet...

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“Sell poetry as a hit, the way you sell coffee or chilli”

“Sell poetry as a hit, the way you sell coffee or chilli”

Even after escaping school, Moran’s late teens were miserable. “I was trying to figure out what the hell to do. I didn’t have any qualifications and I was pretty desperate.

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