Breaking News: Poetry Discussion with Robert Pinsky at Slate This Week

It's Tuesday and the monthly poem has just been posted. Anyone who's been complaining about the absence of attention to poetry in general-interest publications, the next couple of days is your chance to support Robert Pinsky's valiant endeavor to improve the situation. The poem this month is by Fulke Greville.

The level of discussion is smart but not academic, the tone, set by RP himself, is respectful and upbeat, and the company is a fascinating mix of well-known poets and dedicated poetry-lovers. Here is the invitation to participate from Robert Pinsky:
Dear Friends,
On Tuesday morning, March 17, Slate will publish this month’s “Classic Poem”— that is, something in public domain-- with a brief introduction by me.
As before, this is a group email inviting you to take part in the Slate "Fray'” discussion of the poem, along with me and the “Fray” regulars,.
If you do want to take part, it’s much better to click on “Read Messages”-- and NOT immediately on “Post A Message,” which starts a new “thread” or topic each time.
This month, the poem will be Fulke Greville’s #56 (“All My Senses, Like Beacon’s Flame.”) The poem will be posted for a week. Previous discussions have usually lasted three or four days.
Links to past, archived Classic Poem discussions appear under the weekly poem.
My idea is to enhance the online discussions of poetry and particular poems on Slate (where I am poetry editor). One motive is to encourage Slate to keep on publishing a poem every week-- as few general-interest or political publications do. Reader participation in the Fray (ßand saving the magazine money with a public domain poem once a month) helps preserve the regular presence of poetry in the magazine.
Here, again, are instructions for joining the “Fray” forum:
Go to and under "Arts" click on the poem. Down among the stuff after the poem there is an option to "Join the Fray: Our Reader Discussion Forum." If you click on "Post a Message," you will be led to register-- with your own name, or a pseudonym, which most participants seem to prefer, though I do not. Once you have registered, have a password, etc., it does make sense to click on “Read Messages” to look over the topics before contributing, possibly by joining an already-active topic rather than beginning a new one.
Good wishes-- and thanks for the help,

Originally Published: March 17th, 2009

Annie Finch is the author or editor of more than twenty books of poetry, plays, translation, literary essays, textbooks, and anthologies, including the poetry collections Eve (1997), Calendars (2003), and Spells: New and Selected Poems (2012), and the long poems The Encyclopedia of Scotland (1982) and Among the Goddesses: An Epic...

  1. March 17, 2009
     Don Share

    Some years ago, R.P. said of Fulke Greville: The greatest poet unknown to many readers–comparable in force of imagination to John Donne, an approximate contemporary of William Shakespeare–was an upper-class Englishman with a funny name: Fulke Greville. His sequence of poems, Caelica, begins with conventional-love lyrics twisted and exploded by a mighty and peculiar intelligence. The love poems grow darker as the sequence progresses ("All my senses, like beacon's flame/Gave alaraum to desire"), and in the last 20 or 30 poems, the passion is religious and moral: "You that seek what life is in death/Now find it air, that once was breath."
    See more about Fulke Greville right here on the PF website:

  2. March 18, 2009

    In addition to the discussion on Slate, Robert Pinsky will also be blogging everyday in April at the new poetry site: