Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Gail Blauvelt

Dear Editor,

As one who believes that Madison Avenue may be the source of some of the most successful modern poetry (“Plop plop, fizz fizz/O what a relief it is!”: is a more brilliant combination of sound, rhythm, and meaning to be discovered?), I very much enjoyed Clive James’s “Product Placement in Modern Poetry” [May 2011]. I realize that consideration of music and lyrics opens entirely new cans of worms, yet as James discussed L.E. Sissman I couldn’t help but think that Cole Porter offers a perfect counter-example. Not only does “You’re the Top” (for example) reflect a love of words and products, but it achieves a perfect blend of word, phrase, and rhythm—at least to my ear. Porter, too, is interested in “social notation through the listing of products” and, regarding James’s point about limits, I don’t think anyone can successfully parody Porter.

My thanks to Clive James for the most fun I have had with Poetry for some time.

baltimore, maryland

Originally Published: July 1, 2011

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This prose originally appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2011

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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