Letter from Poetry Magazine

Robert Archambeau Responds

by Robert Archambeau
Robert Archambeau responds:

While I am not now, and have never been, a member of the Communist Party, I did quote Marx on the matter of consciousness being determined by social conditions. Then again, I also quoted Adam Smith—approvingly! So the tired nature of my analysis must have its origins in something other than Marxism. But the real issue for me here is what I take to be a misunderstanding of what I hoped to show in citing Matthias's poem. Although the particular political issue it presents is indeed a trivial one—a dispute with local government authorities about a ticket—the issues it illustrates are profound: the conflict between civic and symbolic power. If I've misled any readers into disliking a wonderful poem by an important poet, I regret it.
Originally Published: December 30, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2009


 Robert  Archambeau


Robert Archambeau's books include Home and Variations (Salt Publishing, 2004), and Laureates and Heretics (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010). He teaches at Lake Forest College.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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