prose poetry defined

Lines that yearn for the roominess enjoyed by sentences in a paragraph.


anaphora and more

Do I repeat myself? Very well, then I repeat myself, I am many, I contain multiples.


not de-prosed

Adding a metrical lilt to your lines and hanging some rhymes at the line endings, doesn’t de-prose your poetry. The prose remains despite the meter and rhyme.


made with feeling

Joan Mitchell:

“I carry my landscapes around with me.”

“Painting is made with feeling. One has to have the guts to feel and love outside oneself.”

“The solitude that I find in my studio is one of plenitude. I am enough for myself. I live fully there.”

[Quotes I copied off cards at the Joan Mitchell retrospective exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Arts]


stunning cover

That four-color cover does nothing to enhance the text inside.


getting to great

You don’t just get to read great poetry. There’s a bit more to getting it.


not numbers that count

Among poets, one’s popularity runs inverse to one’s respect among one’s peers.


title wave

Just the titles of Wallace Stevens’ poems put to shame the entire output of many other poets.


never know enough

We don't know enough, we'll never know.
Oh happy Homer, taking the stars and the Gods for granted.

—Robinson Jeffers, "The Epic Stars"


counter the common

Often poets write against popular sentiment and the common viewpoint.


poem's apotheosis

Being printed as a letterpress broadside is the apotheosis of the poem.


fair question

What is the quality of your audience?


good people to know

They were good bourgeois bohemians.


far sound

A poem that was a far-off sound.


latent images

In a good photograph, latent in the image are many days and years both behind and ahead of the picture.


a certain relation

To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge—and, therefore, like power.

—Susan Sontag, “On Photography” (1977)

To write a poem is to appropriate the thing written about. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge—and, therefore, like power.


flummery perfumery

You would think by now that the ink of blurbs would be infused with scratch-n-sniff perfumes.


asking the wrong questions

I thought more highly of him as a poet before he interviewed another poet.


obscure in their own way

The authors I most love are obscure in different senses of that word.


home poem

The childhood home is the first poem. Poets should not give in and go back home too easily or too often.


didn't come out that way

After reading the blurb, I thought, he probably means what he says as praise.