American Poetry in the Age of Whitman and Dickinson

Paying Little Mind to Major Poets

with 22 comments

Let me start with Emerson’s best-known aphorism, from “Self-Reliance”: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” What Emerson means here is partly explained by the rest of his sentence: “…adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” A roundabout way of saying that priests are as foolish as politicians, as tedious as logicians. Or else, instead, that little minds are tormented by what great ones adore. Or maybe that little minds like to be tormented. Emerson can be so confusing.

Be all that as it may, I do value consistency, and have often wondered about my own lack of it vis-à-vis nineteenth- and twentieth-century poets. For instance, the fact that I’m happy ignoring whole areas of activity in the later period, whereas, in the earlier, I’d like someday to have an understanding of the whole. In the later period, I’m even willing to ignore major figures (so-called), whereas, in the earlier, importance, however defined, serves perfectly well as a basis for paying attention. The reason, I’ve often told myself, is that I have the luxury of dispassion when it comes to the nineteenth century. I can be a scholar in my reading, setting aside the necessity for making choices, the need a practitioner feels to insist on his or her own commitments. For when it comes to the twentieth century (and the twenty-first too, of course), I’m a poet first. I find myself — or rather my work — implicated in the projects I consider. To grant certain poets, even historically unavoidable ones, their credence would be to bestow on them the benefit of my interest and so qualify the interest — and credence — of the work I do myself, or at least of the work that makes possible what I do.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve told myself, now and again, trying to understand my lack of patience with the present-day equivalents to antebellum versifiers whose writings I do manage to approach with sympathy. It’s a good solution, I think, this distinction I make between reading as a scholar and reading as a poet. … Too bad it’s probably bunk. In both centuries, I let my curiosity guide me, and often become quite taken with poets out of proportion to their actual importance as anyone else might see it. In my nineteenth century, for example, Bayard Taylor is much more important than Jones Very, and Fitz-Greene Halleck is much more lasting than E. A. Robinson. Which may sound reasonable to you, but that’s only because Whitman and Dickinson have so skewed our perceptions. Basically, this is like saying that Randall Jarrell is more important than T. S. Eliot, Joanne Kyger more lasting than Robert Frost. Which I do believe, by the way.

But please don’t mistake this as a “post-avant” vs. “school of quietude” argument (the Jarrell reference ought to clarify that). I’m talking about taking one’s own interests seriously, which is precisely a redrawing of such existing lines. For me, Marianne Moore is the center of modernism, not Eliot, or Pound, or Williams, and that means I can read Merrill and Ashbery with equal pleasure, while finding Lowell and Duncan — who drank too deeply of the Four Quartets — almost unbearable.

And therein lies for me the big difference between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: I find so much more of the latter century’s poetry unbearable. And not because it’s worse, mind you, but because it touches me more deeply, more directly. I may be put to sleep by James Russell Lowell, but he doesn’t irritate me like Robert. That irritation, I would add, says much less about Lowell — or me — than it does about the nature of proximity.

Putting this all together, I’d say that as a scholar, I read like a poet who has gone numb. Or rather: as a poet, I read like a scholar with bad allergies. Except that the difference is not between scholarship and poetry, but centuries. As I move further into the past, I find it easier to withhold judgment. In the present and near past, judgment withholds me.

So yes, I’m inconsistent, but no longer tortured about it. And not because I’m now “self-reliant.” It’s immersion in the social I accept, my vantage on the past, and future, I’ve acknowledged. Which leads, I hope, to the ultimate inconsistency: revision. After all, what good is history if it can’t be rewritten, reconsidered, redeployed?

Update: Ron Silliman has written a response to this post (link here), leading to further remarks of my own (here).

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Written by Ben Friedlander

October 15, 2009 at 8:21 am

22 Responses

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  1. Hi Ben,

    One of my favorite “APitAoWaD”posts so far. I hadn’t thought of Lowell or (esp.) Duncan as having a Four Quartets problem before, but it makes provisional sense of my own allergic reaction to them.

    Could it be, also, that via the poetry of a gone society, you’re getting information about the attitudes and conflicts of sentiment that still live vividly there? Where with the 20th century, you don’t need that info from poetry? I find for myself that reading as an anthropologist shifts attention and numbs taste, while I put a different sort of pressure on poems whose social context I understand more intuitively.

    I wonder if part of what I dislike in, say, Lowell has to do with the social: Boston, Harvard, “academic” poetry, narratives about madness, the sort of critics who praise him, the legacy of Confessional poetry, etc. If I were learning about the mid-20th century, and trying to reconstruct its tensions, all that would become “interesting.” I can read poets of the 17th century, for instance, without getting worked up over whether they’re pro-Crown or pro-Cromwell, distinctions that would have meant everything to the age they lived in. While in the present, my reading tends to conform to a pretty narrow band of commitments. Do you find this, too? Enjoyed the post!

    rodney k.

    October 15, 2009 at 9:36 am

    • I agree with Rodney re “favorite post.” I often wondered, too, if our feelings about the particular centuries make or break our feelings about the literature of those centuries.

      For example, I’d take 18th century Britain or 19th century America over 20th century Global any day, appalled as I am by the great ruin the 20th century & its people have brought upon our own century. Or say, 18th century Britain seems to have a great deal we can learn from, that literature of profound cultural/economic/formal/technological shifts while whatever lessons contained in modernism are ones which seem more and more expressions of ideas and affective states useful to us mostly as the story of the end (nature’s, in particular).

      Or what I suppose I am saying is that reading the 20th century, at least the european/american 20th century, is like reading the rantings of a Nero (or you know, insert appropriate mad tyrant killing everything). Even in its voices that express some sort of self-knowledge, mourning, or doubt about being the century-that-kills-everything it’s rather still like a mad tyrant, just a mad tyrant with the capacity to express self-doubt (but not the capacity for self-remedy). This is why my modernism seems very different than yours, Ben, & more grounded in every obvious expression of the vile, grotesque, violent, victimized, alien, and hysteric, not so much the rarefied, which to me reads as a painful gloss over the meat of things. Like I’d say Artaud, not Marianne Moore.

      The 21st century is crazy interesting to me, though, particularly work of those younger than me — and in their work the question of _how can we write not just elegy, but remedy?_

      I’ll admit though that I have never been able to feel numb about any century or its poems. I have often felt this is why I can’t be a scholar, this kind of too intense connection to even those things which I am supposed to be historically removed.

      anne b

      October 15, 2009 at 10:20 am

      • Hi, Anne! So much to think about here, some of which, I’m pretty sure, will lead me to rewrite what I have above, at least in my head.

        Regarding modernism, though, let me add one addendum, as it may show us to be much closer than our reading preferences indicate:

        Yes, a horrendous amount of poetry from the twentieth century functions as trauma text, but what I look for in that text is not simply the power of acting out, but the possibility of working through. This is why I admire Jarrell so much, despite his obvious limitations: he’s the one important poet of WWII to care more about recovery than trauma.

        My statement about Moore was polemical; I don’t really believe in “central” poets, only in imagining what poetry would like if the center of attention was shifted from where others have placed it. But one of the things I do admire about her is the way she treats culture itself as something to work through; she doesn’t simply enact it, as Eliot and Pound did.

        Rarefied? I guess; she’s an intellectual. Like us!

        Anyway, thanks for this. I’ll be mulling over your centuries as I talk about Frederick Douglass this afternoon. Seems appropriate, since he named himself for a character in Walter Scott!

        Ben Friedlander

        October 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

  2. Thanks, Rodney. “APitAoWaD” makes my mouth hurt!

    I agree about the narrow band. Maybe I should add “reading like a truth and reconciliation commission” to “reading like a scholar or poet.” I do feel that that’s an issue for me in reading Pound. And I’m frankly suspicious of those for whom it’s not.

    More to say, about “gone society,” and “Confessional poetry,” but no time just now…

    Ben Friedlander

    October 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

  3. I’ve got your back on Halleck v Robinson. Fanny is a masterpiece, for example. Robinson has his moments too…

    Could parallax be a useful term here?

    Jordan

    October 20, 2009 at 8:34 am

  4. I’m relieved to see that you too think of Moore as the center of modernism. She’s the only one with the brains and the work and the more or less clean political record as a moderate conservative, as well as a church-going background (she understood the ten commandments and lived within them), as well as the good writing.

    I went to her house in Carlisle last week and snapped two photos that you can see on my blague.

    The struggle to define a writer as central or peripheral is never really done, and is only accomplished over tremendous amounts of time. Even Shakespeare took centuries to fully canonize.

    Thomas Aquinas took almost six centuries!

    I think Moore is going to move ahead of the pack of modernists slowly but certainly.

    Another prediction: Gregory Corso will slowly be seen as the great poet of the Beats. Already this was so for the Beats themselves. Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and others, knew that it was Corso who was their top poet.

    It takes a long time for taste to form, or for a bad aftertaste to come to the fore.

    Pound’s idiotic political involvements certainly leave a rancid aftertaste.

    Moore was more sound, more sensible, and better at articulating ideals than any of the others. People live on ideals, or else they die, and Moore’s ideals are clean and truthful, although also more dificult, more nuanced but therefore, offer something more to us.

    Kirby Olson

    October 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  5. Didn’t WCW call Marianne Moore the poet who was most consistently a poet, in Spring and all? Or something along those lines.

    I’m very much in love with the 20th century. But then again I’d hardly moved out from my parents when it came to a close, and perhaps don’t feel myself being part of anything that happened before … say 1980. And most of this stuff happened very far from my little Island, where nothing happened until everything suddenly crumbled.

    Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl

    October 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm

  6. Ben—
    Yr posts are always intriguing. Thanks for sustaining such intensity. Here’s my two cents—I’m completely interested in how writers from various centuries re-read and enter into intertextual relation with texts from previous centuries. This might be de Navarre producing The Heptameron in conversation with and critique of The Decameron–or Boccacio reworking tales from Apulius or Dodie Bellamy working with Stoker’s Dracula, Bob Gluck’s Margery Kempe, Harreytte Mullen’s version of a Shakespeare sonnet. And Susan Howe’s reading of Dickinson’s readings of Browning and others. This mixing of centuries and texts–poetry and prose–is alive and tensile in a lot of work I’m interested in. Intertextual pleasures. Between the centuries. But, I think you are right about a certain remove and distance that might possibly make for a certain withdrawal of energies (i know you didn’t quite say this!), but, maybe transference is everywhere, even leaping across such divides….

    Robin

    October 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm

  7. Rodney:

    I meant to add a p.s. to my last note and never did. But briefly: I thought you caught acutely the contradiction in what I was saying, which is not really a contradiction but a paradox, something easily lived but hard to think about. On the one hand, poetry gives us information about “gone society,” so that reading work from the past makes it present again. On the other hand, it’s the past’s failure to be present that makes that work so much easier to encounter than poetry from our own time, even when the old work does touch on issues that still touch us deeply. Something to puzzle over.

    Regarding the Confessionals: there’s a book you might like, very “anthropological” in the sense you give that word, called Pursuing Privacy in Cold War America, by Deborah Nelson, which links the Confessional poets to the redefinition of privacy law in the sixties. Turns out the original definition of “the right to privacy” meant something quite different–had nothing to do with government supervision of the individual and his or her private behavior; it was first formulated at the end of the nineteenth century to shield the private lives of the Boston elite from scrutiny in the press. Nelson argues persuasively that the later version of the right to privacy and more importantly the legalizations that followed removed the stigma from what the old right wanted to shield; made it possible, that is, to talk about private life in public without fear of reprisals. The Confessionals, who were coincidentally or not associated with the Boston elite, Lowell in particular, provide a cultural link between the two versions, as the work’s power speaks to the hold of late nineteenth century attitudes while the content looks forward to the new. I learned a lot from that book!

    —-

    Jordan:

    Parallax, yes, just so! One can’t read from one perspective alone.

    —-

    Kirby:

    I agree with what you say about Moore and the qualities of her mind and behavior; she also had exquisite craft. There were also limitations in her attitudes–I don’t think she was equal to the problems posed by total war and other aspects of modernity that became more or less impossible to ignore after midcentury. Though it’s out of fashion to say so, I agree with Jarrell’s critique of her WWII poems; what he says is quite in keeping with ideas Adorno would soon express about art after Auschwitz (I mention that only to point out his pertinence). That limitation btw holds for just about all of Moore’s contemporaries; it’s why the next generation, for all its aesthetic retrenchment (in the case of Jarrell) or recapitulation (in the case of Olson), becomes so essential to read. Why I hold her in such high esteem has a lot to do with the quickness and profundity with which she grasped the importance of quotation and juxtaposition. They become in her work a poetics, i.e., a world view, not just technique. In this regard, I think, her work comes first and did it best. But there are many other reasons to embrace her work as well.

    —-

    Eirkur:

    You’re reminding me of how parochial I can be, and also how many kinds of distance are possible–not just temporal distance.

    —-

    Robin:

    You’re right, it’s important to remember all those instances where the writer has tied the centuries into a knot, so that past and present are not so easily set in temporal order. That knot is so hard to tie! And maybe it’s the most important thing an historical imagination has to offer. Will have to think about it some more!

    Ben Friedlander

    October 23, 2009 at 8:33 am

  8. Ben,

    Jarrell’s strange comments regarding Moore’s poem often strike me as completely off. He argues that Moore is sanctioning war, and saying that she says that war can teach us how to live. She’s not saying that. She’s coming out of a different tradition having to do with just war, and standing up for what’s right. She’s nearly arguing for universal human rights in the poem In Distrust of Merits. I still find her poem relevant. Jarrell’s pacifism on the other hand enables dictatorships from Vietnam to Iran to go on, without any critique. It’s a model that would also turn away from the abuse next door, in a let’s mind our own business way that refuses to acknowledge the truth of victimization for the people of N. Korea, for instance (dying in the millions), or for the people of Vietnam or China today who lack freedom of speech, and basic human rights.

    I think Moore is still willing to think about good and evil. I find this vocabulary to be missing in my namesake, Charles Olson, for instance. He appears to me to be totally befuddled as to how to create any kind of a moral line either in his own life, or in the life of his larger society. I don’t know Jarrell’s life and work so well. I find him to be so jumbled that I don’t know how to approach his work. It just appears to be moral chaos. One interesting episode in his life is when he invited the poet Gregory Corso to stay at his house. Corso did stay there for a month, and drove the Jarrells half-mad. That episode strikes me as hilarious, and I would like to know more about it, but Jarrell barely mentions Corso, only to say that he’s obviously the best of the Beats.

    As for Moore, I like her sense of moral clarification. It seems to me timeless.
    Best, Kirby

    Kirby Olson

    October 23, 2009 at 9:04 am

  9. Also, I’d like to say hello to Eirikur. He’s an Icelandic poet that lives I believe in Finland. At any rate, I think Iceland is pulling itself together economically. They cut expenses and are back on track. I hope our government can do the same.

    Kirby Olson

    October 23, 2009 at 9:05 am

  10. Kirby:

    I’m not an all-or-nothing kind of guy, so I do find much to admire in Moore’s poetry of the forties, not least its ethical seriousness. But in that regard, I’m surprised you see chaos in Jarrell. Whatever you may think of his review, it’s a clear instance of moral rather than aesthetic judgment.

    Here is the passage where I think he is right. It’s worth citing only because it’s not simply a judgment on Moore in those particular poems, but on an entire cultural disposition (that’s where it resonates with Adorno and other philosophers — and theologians — who contemplate the implications of the twentieth century’s horrors):

    How often Miss Moore writes about things (hers are aesthetic-moral, not commercial-utilitarian — they persist and reassure); or plants (how can anything bad happen to a plant?); or animals with holes, a heavy defensive armament, or a massive and herbivorous passivity superior to either the dangers or temptations of aggression…. The way of the little jerboa on the sands — at once True, Beautiful, and Good — she understands; but the little shrew or weasel, that kills, if it can, two or three dozen animals in a night? the little larvae feeding on the still-living caterpillar their mother has parlyzed for them? We are surprised to find Nature, in Miss Moore’s poll of it, so strongly in favor of Morality; but all the results are implicit in the sampling — like the Literary Digest, she sent postcards to only the nicer animals. In her poems the lion never eats Androcles — or anything else except a paste made of rotten apples. The virtuous individual is precariously, but necessarily and finally, safe; Miss Moore’s poetry is one long set of variations on Socrates’ Nothing can happen to the good man. Why do her animals never die? Because of the pre-established harmony in Adam Smith. Both her economic practice and moral theory repeat wistfully, Laissez faire, laissez aller. Poor private-spirited citizen, wandering timidly but obliviously among the monoliths of a deadlier age, will they never let you alone? To us, as we look skyward to the bombers, this urban Frost, the frequenter of zoos, calls Culture and morals and Nature still have truth, seek shelter there; and this is true; but we forget it beside the cultured, moral, and natural corpse … At Maidanek the mice had holes, but a million and a half people had none.

    It’s important that Jarrell says “and this is true” near the end. Ultimately, it’s not the rightness or wrongness of what Moore believes that is at issue, but its adequacy. At certain moments in history, or from certain perspectives, the horizon for understanding and action has to be larger. Jarrell was writing as someone who had attempted to comprehend that horizon. This is what makes his war poetry so admirable — reducing it to the “Ball Turret Gunner” has been a sad joke on his labors. Moving well beyond the soldier-poet model, he wrote about war from a wide variety of perspectives (soldiers, of course, but also children caught in the bombings, wives and mothers of military personnel, workers in the war industry, refugees). He recognized that the scale of what had happened was part of its meaning.

    You mention “just war.” I wonder what you would make of Jarrell’s “Eighth Air Force,” not a great poem, but a worthy one. It accepts that the soldiers’ actions are just, but wants to confront the fact that that those actions are still murder. The resolution he offers is too easy; I prefer other poems. But I’m curious what you’d think of it.

    As I said in a comment above, the Moore I admire doesn’t enact culture, but offers tools for working through it. A poem like “In Distrust of Merits” is of less interest to me than “An Octopus,” though there’s probably no inconsistency between them. Though, to be inconsistent myself: I do like some of the poems that are simply assertions. I love “On Military Progress”!

    Anyway, thanks for writing! I’d like to know more about the Corso episode too. As for Olson, Charles: another time!

    Ben Friedlander

    October 23, 2009 at 9:57 am

  11. I read the Jarrell poem. I think the Ball Turret Gunner works much better because of the harsh mechanical imagery.

    But I still believe in an interior dimension, even with the individual plant.

    Each plant is an individual soul struggling to find its career in life!

    And to be all that it can be.

    In one of Corso’s poem he writes about a comic book monster named Groot who is a tree monster. He appeared in Marvel Comics in the early 1960s. He attacks Manhattan and gets the woods to attack Manhattan with him. A scientist manages to save the city by launching a counterattack of termites…

    There’s all kinds of drama going on with plants. War is what it is. It can’t be helped.

    Every insect is raiding, and committing atrocities all day long. Every animal seeks to trespass. Animals recognize no law except might is right.

    If you even recognize right as might for just an inkling which is what Jarrell has us do, then you have to accept something transcendent, and therefore greater than nature. If you do that, then you can take the extra step with Marianne Moore, and recognize Jesus. If you do that, the whole interior world makes enormous sense.

    The children of Israel shall once more awaken from the dead even in the gardens of Zion.

    Kirby Olson

    October 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

  12. Fair enough about the interior life of plants — what do I know?

    Jarrell’s point was hardly that might makes right. Hardly! But I like your enthusiasm for Moore.

    And I like the idea of Groot. If only nature was more like us…we could threaten it, negotiate with it, give it a seat on the security council…

    Ben Friedlander

    October 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

  13. Yes, yes!

    The incident in which Corso stayed at Jarrell’s house would be fun to investigate.

    I’m sure Jarrell must have written many letters about it. I haven’t read Jarrell much, but got out two books today. I see there is a volume of letters. There is probably also a huge archive.

    Jarrell died in 1965 from a car accident (he was a pedestrian but got clipped). Some say it was an intentional suicide, right?

    I doubt if his brush with Corso made him that kind of crazy, but you never know. I felt quite cheered up by Corso, but I never let him stay at my house. The one time he came into my apartment he was very well-behaved, and actually said something nice about one of my poems.

    He could be very mean, but he was always nice to me.

    I imagine Mrs. Jarrell must have had quite a shock on encountering Corso.

    Corso wrote a long slow poem about his time in DC with the Jarrells, which is at the end of Elegiac Feelings American, I think, p. 94.

    Doesn’t mention Jarrell.

    I have only the briefest glimpse of Jarrell in my mind. Should read more. Thanks for whetting my interest.

    Kirby Olson

    October 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm

  14. One of my favorite books is a copy of Herman Melville’s Civil War poems with Corso’s signature. It was given to me by Stephen Rodefer for my thirtieth birthday. According to Stephen, Corso had been a house guest for a short while and run up a tremendous phone bill, and left a box of his books to cover it.

    I just pulled Jarrell’s letters off the shelf and looked up Corso in the index. Found this from a 1956 note to Karl Shapiro:

    I met a really good (and wholly delightful) new young poet named Gregory Corso. He’s all that the tea-party or grey-flannel or World-of-Richard-Wilbur poets aren’t. Not that I don’t like Wilbur, but one is enough.

    There’s also an editorial note that says a little more about the relationship. It’s sweet.

    Ben Friedlander

    October 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  15. I remember looking that up and reading about it. Corso continued to defend Jarrell into the latter period of his life — they apparently had a very strong connection. Corso could be very sweet. Ginsberg told me in 1977 that Corso was the greatest guy he had ever known until Corso got on heroin at which point he became a schmuck.

    Groot is here:

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/groottta1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/groottta.htm&usg=__exTkzQrNp2X2rVLmKW4vMG_0GnE=&h=369&w=268&sz=38&hl=en&start=5&tbnid=SmHLQ0qDlmNcwM:&tbnh=122&tbnw=89&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522groot%2522%2Bmarvel%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

    Apparently, this cartoon monster is making a comeback in some other guise in new cartoon books. I don’t follow those things mostly because they’re too expensive. But Groot is someone from Outer Space coming to collect human specimens, and the humans aren’t having it, and there’s a huge war, with the termites. I don’t know what happens.

    Melville’s Civil War poems! Very good poems. Haunting.

    I wonder if Corso’s notes are in the books.

    I’m going to make an online biography of Corso that will be crowd-sourced. I started the project a few years ago but ran out of energy collecting stuff. I think if I put it online so anybody can contribute, then I will get more stuff. I already have Anne Waldman, Gerald Nicosia, and about fifty others: including girlfriends, and poets, and people who just saw him once at a party in Italy.

    The idea is that you just write an anecdote — each anecdotes should be like a party anecdote, something good enough to hold the attention of a room full of people briefly. And it should be dated, and also the place specified.

    Has anybody ever done this? I’ll try to get it going in the next week or so. His first book was published by a group of kids at Harvard, and he was buried by many, so I think it’s good to get his biography going by crowd-sourcing, too.

    I’d especially like to get people who knew him as a kid if any of them are left. Many people believe that he grew up poor, but I think his foster parents may have been wealthy, because how else would he have gotten a taste for things like opera and art? I think his mom leaving him on the steps of the Catholic charity opened all kinds of doors for him even if it hurt him in some other ways.

    Tell Stephen Rodefer! And have him give us the contents of that box in an inventory, perhaps!

    Kirby Olson

    October 23, 2009 at 7:20 pm

  16. No notes from Corso. But one odd footnote to the Melville book. This particular edition was edited by Hennig Cohen. Years later, I requested a book on Melville through interlibrary loan (I think it was the concordance to Clarel, but I’m not sure) and it arrived with one of Cohen’s bills tucked in. Not a phone bill, alas, but close enough to feel appropriate.

    A crowd-sourced collection of anecdotes would be a great resource — and fun reading.

    Ben Friedlander

    October 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

  17. Holy cow! I’m jealous of your comment stream, Ben. A wonder in itself. Can you tell me where to find the tape you played for me once, of Ashbery reading a Moore poem, which one would have sworn was an Ashbery poem?

    Susan M. Schultz

    October 26, 2009 at 2:25 am

    • From the 92nd Street Y, with permission from Ashbery’s office, for teaching use only. I learned about it from a paper on Ashbery and Moore at a Moore conference in 2003.

      Ben Friedlander

      October 26, 2009 at 7:34 am

  18. Presumably your comments section is moderated, since mine didn’t post when I “submitted” it just now.

    Curtis Faville

    October 28, 2009 at 1:17 am

  19. […] Friedlander thinks that Marianne Moore is the center of American poetry’s modernist resurgence, not Eliot or the storied Ezra Pound. He has no problem ignoring the names text books , lecturers […]


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