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Poetry Chronicle [US]:
American poetry — according to one of the many competing caricatures — is dominated by English professors and the minor epiphanies they have while walking their dogs. [...] To address what's called the matsav (the "situation") is to risk propagandism; to ignore it is to appear a Pangloss or coward. [...] Strict fidelity to traditional forms is brave — not only because these forms are unfashionable but because they're unforgiving. [...] The first rabbit pulled from the magician's hat is a miracle, the 10th a bore. [...] McMichael is the 13-year cicada of poetry. [.......]
Poetry reviews in the NY Times. [Requires bugmenot]
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At 7:57 PM, Blogger Bill Hooker replied:

To date, the best review of Stallings' Hapax I've seen is Stallings' own:

Antiblurb

This is not necessary. This is neither
Crucial nor salvation. It is no hymn
To harmonize the choirs of seraphim,
Nor any generation's bold bellwether
Leading the flock, no iridescent feather
Dropped from the Muse's wing. It does not limn,
Or speak in tongues, or voice the mute, or dim
Outmoded theories with its fireworks. Rather

This is flawed and mortal, and its stains
Bear the evidence of taking pains.
It did not have to happen, won't illumine
The smirch of history, the future's omen.
Necessity is merely what sustains --
It's what we do not need that makes us human.

(Disclaimer: I'm a fan. Stallings has a wry way with words and a deft handling of form that appeals to me. I think "Antiblurb" showcases this and at the same time offers a charmingly accurate and honest piece of self-criticism in "its stains/bear the evidence of taking pains". It's true that sometimes the effort shows in Stallings' writing, but I find this far less distracting or disturbing than the apparent lack of effort in the unfettered warblings of, say, Billy Collins.)    



At 12:42 PM, Blogger Andrew Shields replied:

Bill Hooker's comments on A. E. Stallings are well taken. I made some similar remarks on my blog a few days ago entitled "A Cliché about Formal Verse." See my blog by clicking on my name above.    



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