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Guilty Knowledge, Guilty PleasureThe Dirty Art of Poetry$
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William Logan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166867

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166867.001.0001

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Verse Chronicle

Verse Chronicle

Civil Wars

(p.208) Verse Chronicle
Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure

William Logan

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews Michael Dickman's Flies, Henri Cole's Touch, Katherine Larson's Radial Symmetry, Billy Collins's Horoscopes for the Dead, Michael Longley's A Hundred Doors, and Geoffrey Hill's Clavics. Dickman's second collection, Flies, is filled with fever dreams of childhood, the haunting presence of his dead older brother, and flies. The poems in Cole's Touch have been written under the sign of the mother, a mother who though dead remains one of the few living presences in the poet's world. Larson is a field ecologist whose relation to nature lies somewhere between the scientist's and the poet's. In Radial Symmetry she is drawn to the mystery of things and the ways mystery can be mastered. Collins's poems are lacking in the sense that when there's sorrow, it's buffered sorrow; when there's happiness, it's discount happiness. Longley's poems in A Hundred Doors suffer from a tweedy innocence while Hill's Clavics feature thirty-two poems cast in peculiar form: a twenty-line stanza, varying from dimeter to pentameter, followed by one half as long and shaped like the winglike stanza of Herbert's “Easter Wings”.

Keywords:   poets, poetry, reviews, Michael Dickman, Henri Cole, Katherine Larson, Billy Collins, Michael Longley, Geoffrey Hill

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