Prose from Poetry Magazine

100 Years

It’s now been a full century since that intrepid and ingenious woman, Harriet Monroe, founded a small but seismic magazine for modern poetry. Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Marianne Moore: the story is well-known by this point. Much has changed in a hundred years, though Monroe’s commitment to eclecticism (“The Open Door,” as she called it), critical rigor, and general decency have been bedrock principles even for the editors who sometimes fell short of them. In the next twelve months we’ll look back at some of the highlights and lowlights of these hundred years, though it won’t be a primary focus. Centenary celebrations can be a lot of bother and blather for those outside the institutions having them, so our goal is to mark the occasion with a few well-chosen pieces and portfolios that we think our readers will find interesting, and to get on with our main business of discovery. Thus, in this issue, V. Penelope Pelizzon’s essay on lost but worthy poems from the early years of Poetry is paired with Eliza Griswold’s timely dispatch from the overrun and politicized island of Lampedusa. Alert readers will recognize the brand new Pegasus on the cover this month, which is the first of twelve we have commissioned from some of our favorite contemporary illustrators. And be sure not to overlook the first of our “Back Page” features, which all year will present curious (and various) artifacts from the magazine’s history.  

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

Prose from Poetry Magazine

100 Years

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