4.19.2017

poet's lot

His therapist assured him that being an unknown poet was not something to be ashamed of.

4.17.2017

contemporaneity

George Steiner often insists that the concept of “contemporaneity” should be taken into serious consideration. For instance, it is crucial to know that Édouard Manet and Charles Baudelaire lived at the exact same time in order to understand the deep relevance of one’s work to the other’s. Manet’s fascination with eroticism and modernity coexisted with a more classical touch, which was rooted in a long tradition of painting. In that sense, when his oeuvre was presented in 2011 at Musée d’Orsay in Paris, naming him the “man who invented modernity,” such a claim could only be accurate if related to the perpetuation of certain traditions. Modernity exists alongside tradition. And Baudelaire stands in a similar position. The literary critic Antoine Compagnon famously described his poems as “antimodern,” meaning that they were written as much in contradiction to as in close relation to modernity. Therefore, Baudelaire’s poems and Manet’s paintings, which may seem to be produced in parallel realities, indeed have a lot in common.

—Donatien Grau, The Age of Creation (Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2015)]

4.15.2017

gnarled lines

With its many digressions, the poem tied itself up in knots.

4.12.2017

step back

The poet talks the prose line back from the edge.

4.11.2017

well-wrought ask

A question must be composed better than a statement.

4.10.2017

not a transcendent act

I was going to suggest that 'This poem needs to molt its form.' Then I realized that act is not a metamorphosis.

4.09.2017

cross purposes

When the narrative intersects with the random.

4.08.2017

requisite equine

I put horses in poems, but I’ve never ridden one. They just seem like a good thing to put into literature.

—Sarah Manguso, 300 Arguments (Graywolf Press, 2017)

4.03.2017

shared dream

I thought she said the poem was “dream of consciousness.”

4.01.2017

word hose

That line was a firehose of words…