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“it’s voice that makes the speaker memorable”: A Review of Five Collections of Poetry

By Harriet Staff

Using the above-mentioned statement as his organizing principle, Dana Jennings at the NY Times wrote this group review of poetry collections by Bao Phi, Roberto Bolano, Simon Armitage, David Budbill, and Don Marquis.

Here’s the short intro. The rest can be found here.

In poetry — as in calling ballgames — it’s voice that makes the speaker memorable. Sure, it helps for a poet to be a master of meter, a lord of the poetic line. But that’s not why, say, we still read Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson. We read him for his warm and vast-as-America hymning, and her for crabbed and cryptic messages left in a poetic bottle. Each poet here, too, writes in a vital and original voice, from a Vietnamese-American tale spinner to an alter-ego cockroach crashing headlong onto the keyboard.

Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 by Harriet Staff.