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My Poetry Picks for 2013 December 4, 2013: Practically every poem in my copy is full of underlinings: Natalie Shapero’s No Object (Saturnalia, 2013). Contains some of the most exhilarating poetry I saw all year: Amanda Smeltz’s Imperial [...] by

The Discriminating Reeve April 29, 2013: I’ll close with one choice item from my stash of non-poetry poetry. A block of medieval prose I find exquisitely moving. You have to read it outloud, though. I found it in a paperback called [...] by

Rhyme April 25, 2013: 1. I trust everyone in my generation (Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations) will recognize these lyrics: Jenny, Jenny, | who can I turn to You give me something | I can hold onto I know you think [...] by

Miscellany (II) April 24, 2013: Two kinds of readings: a kind I call a “bento box” reading, and a kind I call “teaching a good class.” In a BENTO BOX READING, each member of the audience is compartmentalized. The atmosphere [...] by

Basho and His Interpreters April 23, 2013: Beautiful book, if you can get a hold of a copy: Basho and His Interpreters (Makoto Ueda, Stanford University Press, 1992). Listen to how it works: • Top of each page, a chaste translation, in [...] by

Miscellany April 18, 2013: The problem with Koch’s books about teaching children to write poetry is that his method does not teach them to be poets. It teaches them to make what will look like poems to us—but like diddling [...] by

Recite April 16, 2013: I remember a thousand years ago when I was at Columbia I memorized the last forty or fifty lines of “Lycidas”—the part of the poem I had always wept over. Nowadays I am always willing to [...] by

Socrates April 11, 2013: I remember one time giving a beginner a copy of a literary magazine, wanting her to savor a particular sequence of poems that was included in it. She made the mistake of surveying the magazine more [...] by

Feckless Line Breaks April 5, 2013: Have you ever tried to teach somebody how commas work? It’s a nightmare. You learn fast enough: You can’t go preaching that simple thing your own teachers told you in third grade. ’Cuz that [...] by

Yeats On YouTube April 3, 2013: I was memorizing Yeats’s “Easter 1916,” a poem that has a powerful spell on me, despite my not giving a fook about Yeats or Ireland. There is a part in the beginning of the piece that was [...] by