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Collins vs. Moxley [US]:
Thomas issues a close-reading challenge: compare and contrast these two poems by Billy Collins and Jennifer Moxley. [...]

The superficial parallels between these two poems make me aware of the continuing need to question the crudely interpreted distinction between "mainstream" and "experimental," or, in Ron's more recent relabeling, "School of Quietude" and "Post-Avant" poetics. Not that I don't think the labels point to real differences, but that too often the differences are cast as purely formal ones, or if cast as thematic, in a way that negates the importance of form. The central difficulty as I see it is this: symptoms are taken for the disease, and as a corollary error, benign affects are taken for symptoms. [...]
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