Tag Archives: poetry

‘It’s This Old, Fatal Love for the Landscape’

The quotation in my title is from nature writer Robert Macfarlane. His book The Old Ways featured British war artist Eric Ravilious, killed in a plane crash in 1942. In the book, Macfarlane “points to the way the artist would … Continue reading

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‘Telescope’ by Louise Glück

Occasionally a poem is so frictionless it stabs without hurting. My second reading of “Telescope” by Louise Glück was to someone far away over FaceTime. You’ve gotta hear this! I chirped. There is a moment after you move your eye … Continue reading

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‘To Translate Is to Look into a Mirror…’

Benjamin Moser reviews Jhumpa Lahiri’s book “Translating Myself and Others.” The book deals with her decision at age 45 to begin writing in Italian, which for her was an entirely learned language. “Art is not — should not — be … Continue reading

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Cry the Belovèd Reader

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). Pass 3 of 3. Previous comment: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/https://ethicaldative.com/2022/05/01/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-2-of-3/ You. Be. Here. It’s an affirming imperative to exist, or be situate, in the speaker’s space-time. It’s addressed to “tilt” — twice “tender” now … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 2 of 3

Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). [Previously commented text: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/ ] what vaunted green excess enclosed in each skimmed year then the years / vanquished any fuchsia sky / the excess leaking forward filmed aqua / filled … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 1 of 3

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent,” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022) roped in incremental ghost tens / future tens clairvoyant tens home tens // blue slips beneath the exposed wing / tilt then seam then an angle spent all inside / the … Continue reading

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‘Smidgins’: Afterthought

A “smidgin” is an imprecise, tiny amount of something, a modest dollop. As a poem title, the jocular word is self-effacing but also coyly assertive, like a humble-brag. I got dirt under my nails the other day with Rae Armantrout’s … Continue reading

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How Poetry Feels About Itself

Rae Armantrout’s poem “Smidgins” fulfills an imperative of lyric, which is “Don’t be gassy.” Also another imperative, which is “Talk in riddles.” My crumpled, wrinkled / blurt / of flesh. // “Let’s face it,” / it says. * … Ravaged … Continue reading

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On ‘Love Letter to a Dead Body’

I’m intrigued by the tension in Jake Skeet’s [sic] poem: Its title juxtaposes love with death, and its rhythms press against the nettle-like images. The first stanza’s images are scarred and rough with “burr and sage,” “bottles” and the “cirrhosis … Continue reading

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Coming Unstuck With Glück

I’ve acquiesced to much of what I can’t quite fathom in Louise Glück’s poetry. Enough reaches me to defeat surliness. I feel surprisingly addressed at times: … You are like me whether or not you admit it. / Unsatisfied. Meticulous. … Continue reading

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