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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

News from poetry land--

Cover art and design by Elizabeth Adams
Logan, revising the world

Occasionally I read an article that seems so congruent with my own thoughts that I am naturally--human nature being the naughty thing it is--drawn to think it marvelous. This morning I'm feeling very pleased with William Logan's Poetry: Who Needs It? (Hat tip to Prufrock News.) Although the thought of poet William Logan with his reviewer's shears in hand can be terrifying, he is sharp (natural to grasper of shears!) and amusing. He's good here on the state of the culture, the place of poetry, and poetry in the schools. And he invokes Auden's daydream college for bards.

Chitterings of Earl the Squirrel 

Speaking of feisty writers on poetry... I had no idea that a talkative, over-opinionated gray squirrel had started a poetry blog. Evidently he has a sister, Pearl. She is, as you might guess, also Squirrel, family Sciuridae. You can enjoy the nine most asinine things Earl the squirrel has heard poets say, and then noodle around in the obstreperous little fellow's posts. He wields compliments as well as skewers, though his compliments often make implicit demands: "William Shakespeare understood that, in order to survive, verse needed to be meaningful, entertaining and adroit."


Here's a question for Puttenham nuts, trope nuts, poetry nuts--somewhere in The Arte of English Poesie is a trope he calls "the traveller," unless I am making that one up. I thought it might be anastrophe. But I don't think so now... I'm regretting that the book was in one of the 25 boxes of books I once had to leave behind in a move because I'm not proving quick at finding what I want in the online version. Anybody know, right off the bat?

Last day for pre-orders, Night Willow

If you want Phoenicia Publishing's pre-order price for Luisia Igloria's Night Willow, better order by midnight! Take a look at the Phoenicia catalogue while you're there.

Kurp on Mehigan

Patrick Kurp (I recommend his blog, Anecdotal Evidence) has written an interesting review of Joshua Mehigan's second book. (h/t Prufrock.)
Mehigan’s most valuable gifts as a poet are his ability to maintain impersonal distance and remain indifferent to fashion without repudiating tradition. The sociologist Edward Shils might be referring to Mehigan when he writes: “The beginning writer seeks a tradition until he finds one or several and then begins to develop his own style; but he must be a person of great courage and perseverance to disregard the traditions which are proffered to him and insisted upon by teachers, contemporaries, friends, critics, and publishers.” As a poet, Mehigan has passed through apprenticeship and is thriving as a journeyman working toward mastery.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.