Essays and Comment


    In his poem “In the Evening Air,” Theodor Roethke declares, “I’ll make a broken music or I’ll die.”
    Issue #100 December 2019

    Dear Reader, Fellow Perfume Testers and Collectors, Parfum Editors, Shunned Lovers Who Can No Longer Stand the
    Issue #99 November 2019
  • On Ross Gay’s Likely Dispassion

    When is dispassion in a poem more passionate than heat?
    Issue #98 October 2019
  • Suspense, Suspension, and the Sublime in the Poetry of Robert Frost

    Suspense, Suspension, and the Sublime in the Poetry of Robert Frost     Robert Frost was a sublime poet who struck terror in both himself and his readers. Gifted with a prodigious capacity for what John Keats called “negative capability,” that is, the ability to exist “in uncertainty, Mystery, doubt”—and I would add suspense—“without any irritable reaching after fact and

    Issue #97 September 2019
  • The Reliable Stream: On A.R. Ammons’s The Complete Poems, V. 1 & 2, W.W. Norton 2017 by T.R. Hummer

    This essay introduces new readers of Ammons’ work to the metaphysical courage of his ceaseless, restless poems, while also providing the first comprehensive overview of his Complete Poems from both a biographical and critical perspective. – Chard deNiord The Reliable Stream: On A.R. Ammons’s The Complete Poems, V. 1 & 2, W.W. Norton 2017 Human forms, as well as other

    Issue #96 August 2019
  • Walking into Metaphor

    A few weeks back, while snow persisted, no matter it was April, I headed into the woods, in part
    Issue #95 July 2019
  • “The Prose Poem and the Problem of Genre”

    When it comes to deciding on whether a work of short prose is a prose poem, a flash fiction,
    Issue #94 June 2019
  • My Own Private Parthenon

    Before having met Linda Gregg
    Issue #93 May 2019
  • The Heart’s Emissary

    I’m pleased to introduce Doug Anderson as this month’s guest essayist. A veteran of the Vietnam War and now peace activist, Doug has written some of the most powerful poems about the Vietnam War, many of which are included in his 1994 prize winning book The Moon Reflected Fire. I’m grateful to Doug for writing his trenchant essay “The Heart’s Emissary”

    Issue #92 April 2019
  • How to Write on Rat Skin

    Decades ago, when personal computers were still a novelty just being embraced by writers among others, I fell into argument with a famous older poet.
    Issue #91 March 2019
  • The Other by Chard DeNiord

    THE OTHER In his great book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake records some of his wisest lines in a section ironically titled “Proverbs of Hell.” Unlike Dante and Milton, Blake believed that “energetic creators” presided in Hell where they created what he called “memorable fancy” in defiance of the “mind-forged manacles” of conventional morality and religion. One

    Issue #90 February 2019
  • Dredgings by Alexander Dickow

    Dredgings Alexander Dickow Why not mix languages, like Theresa Hak Kyung Cha or Jody Pou? French and English are to my eyes situated back to back, recto-verso. They communicate like medieval lovers, by knocking on an impassible wall. The wall becomes at once obstacle and passage, means of communication and its impediment. * Sometimes, asking forgiveness revives anger rather than

    Issue #89 January 2019