Essays and Comment

  • About Mending Walls…Sort of, by Sydney Lea

    The COVID-19 scourge has moved a horde of people to my home state,
    Issue #128 April 2022
  • Dickinson’s Facsicle 16:  A Book Review by Steven Cramer

    Steven Cramer both enlightens and entertains in his essay, “Dickinson’s Fascicle 16: A Book Review.” In his ambitious undertaking of exegeting Dickinson’s 16th “book,” he writes with a playful erudition that one could easily imagine amusing and even informing Dickinson herself. Acknowledging the futility of trying to divine the “authorial intentions” regarding Dickinson’s fascicles that were last seen intact by

    Issue #127 March 2022
  • SAT PRACTICE TEST by Denise Duhamel & Julie Marie Wade

    having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline
    Issue #126 February 2022
  • Reading the Qur’an with Rumi by Amer Latif

    Amer Latif, a native of Islamabad, Pakistan and current professor of comparative religions and Islamic Studies at Emerson College who taught also at Marlboro College for many years, wrote his dissertation on Rumi at New York University at Stony Brook. I asked him to write the following essay, which he has titled “Reading the Qur’an With Rumi”. In succinct, lucid

    Issue #125 January 2022
  • All These Red and Yellow Things: Short Papers on Art by Lesle Lewis

    In her ekphrastic essay, “All These Red and Yellow Things, Short Papers on Art,” Lesle Lewis writes with a refreshingly observant eye and ear about some of her favorite works of art, reminding her readers of his or her inherent acumen for discovering exhilarating appreciation for paintings and song. A celebrated prose poet, Lesle widens her vision and aural perception for

    Plume Issue #124 December 2021
  • The Solotaroff Protocol, by David Kirby

    On April 14, 1994, Barbara and I were driving from Tallahassee to Baton Rouge to visit my parents and decided to split our journey with an overnight stay in Fairhope
    Issue #122 October 2021
  • “Truscon, A Division of Republic Steel, 1969-70: A Prose-Poem Sequence Disguised as a Lyrical Essay, Itself Aspiring to Be a Fictional Memoir” by Peter Johnson

    Peter Johnson’s essay, “Truscon, A Division of Republic Steel, 1969-70: A Prose Poem Sequence Disguised as a Lyrical Essay, Itself Aspiring to Be a Memoir,” reads like a series of prose poems that cohere seamlessly as a moving and occasionally brutal coming of age story about the author’s first job experience in a steel factory in his hometown of Buffalo,

    Issue #123 November 2021
  • Some Thoughts on the Sublime Irony of Nothing and the Divine Imagination by Chard DeNiord

    SOME THOUGHTS ON THE SUBLIME IRONY OF NOTHING AND THE DIVINE IMAGINATION                      “The most sublime act is to set another before you.” William Blake                   “Nothing is the force/ That renovates the World.” Emily Dickinson * The legacy of sublime conceits in both secular and religious literature betrays the same ironic muse in an archetypal arc

    Issue #121 September 2021
  • The Only Critic by J.T. Barbarese

    J.T. Barbarese makes the trenchant claim in his essay “The Only Critic” that memory itself serves as the  “only critic” of poetry by virtue of its acumen for retaining what W.H. Auden called “memorable speech.” “Memory is what we remember…not a storage facility,” he writes. “It is a hoarder, so it isn’t choosey or tidy.” One must, therefore, work at

    Issue #120 August 2021
  • The Opposite of Silence: Poetry Interposes by T.R. Hummer

    The dream, in medias res, founders on the grinding of a garbage truck
    Issue #119 July 2021
  • The Solid Objects of Stagnant Empires by Irina Mashinski

    “The Myth” and “Jew” are two excerpts from The Naked World, a story of four generations of one family,
    Issue #118 June 2021
  • The Mind’s Meander: Indirection, Ambiguity, and Association in Poetry by Rachel Hadas

    I’ve been musing about the benefits of indirection – or call it obliquity,
    Issue #117 May 2021