Letter from Poetry Magazine

Michael Robbins Responds

by Michael Robbins
Michael Robbins responds:

I am sorry I do not admire Ruth Stone’s poetry as much as Rob Jacques wishes I did. In the passage Jacques mentions, it is, obviously, not the words “up tight” that I object to. I do not think it “tepid” to distinguish between different senses of “failure.” I stand by my judgment, and find it confirmed by the lines Jacques cites, although I think them rather charming, as I did the first time I read them. Finally, I don’t know if Jacques means to imply that I have not “attempted artistic endeavors,” but I am a poet and was one before I ever “attempted” criticism.
Originally Published: January 30, 2009

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

February 2009


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 Michael  Robbins


Michael Robbins is the author of Alien vs. Predator (Penguin, 2012) and The Second Sex (Penguin, 2014). His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Harper's, Boston Review, and elsewhere; his critical work in Harper's, London Review of Books, The New York Observer, the Chicago Tribune, Spin, and several other publications. He is currently at work on a critical book, Equipment for Living (forthcoming from Simon & . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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