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 30th, 2009

Michael Robbins is the author of the poetry collections Alien vs. Predator (Penguin, 2012) and The Second Sex (Penguin, 2014), as well as a book of criticism, Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music (Simon & Schuster, 2017). His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Harper's, Boston Review, and elsewhere; his...

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