Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Llyn Clague
Dear Editor,

The cover of your March issue has a picture of a banana skin without the banana: a symbol of form without substance. Jorie Graham explains that the lines in her poem "The Violinist at the Window, 1918" "marry the long line of Whitman to the short line of Williams." Graham's poem is an exercise in form, utterly without the substance of Whitman and Williams, the most democratic of American poets, both of whom tried to speak to and for "everyman." The banana peel succeeds admirably in symbolizing poetry preoccupied with form, and without substance: the kind that, apparently, Poetry favors.

Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

Originally Published: May 16, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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