The Wright choice for poet laureate

The Library of Congress exercised superb judgment earlier this month by selecting Charles Wright to succeed Natasha Trethewey as  U.S. poet laureate. There are few modern giants still standing in the world of poetry -- there's W.S. Merwin, of course, but I have a hard time identifying too many others (I welcome any and all of … Continue reading The Wright choice for poet laureate

‘I contracted myself to words’: Geoffrey Hartman’s luminous poetry

What happened on the eighth day of creation after God's long day of rest on the seventh? According to poet Geoffrey Hartman, God remembered all those things he forgot to make during the first week: On the eighth day God saw what he had not created. And it was good. And he blessed it saying: … Continue reading ‘I contracted myself to words’: Geoffrey Hartman’s luminous poetry

Hard truths and honey: A mythic master class with Stephen Greenblatt

When you look at Botticelli's painting Primavera (detail,  above), what do you notice? Scantily-clad ladies dancing like they're at Woodstock? Images of the Eternal Feminine? Zephyrus wearing a creepy gray bogeyman costume? Stephen Greenblatt, author of Will in the World and The Swerve, notices something else entirely. For him, the painting contains a kind of … Continue reading Hard truths and honey: A mythic master class with Stephen Greenblatt