poetry

Firefly and Beowulf’s “Reavers from Hell” as the Dark Side of Human Nature

Firefly and Beowulf’s “Reavers from Hell” as the Dark Side of Human Nature

In Seamus Heaney’s acclaimed translation of Beowulf, the narrator describes Grendel and his mother’s fearsome raids, declaring that no one is safe “where these Reavers from Hell roam on their errands.” This was by far the most high-profile usage of the word “reaver,” an otherwise obscure and obsolete term for a plunderer; that is, until Joss…

The Best Poem I Read This Month: Sade Murphy’s “Entry 098 &/or Monday Night Before Thanksgiving or//Venus & Mars in Libra”
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The Best Poem I Read This Month: Sade Murphy’s “Entry 098 &/or Monday Night Before Thanksgiving or//Venus & Mars in Libra”

Sade Murphy pauses time in her prose piece(s) “Entry 098 &/or Monday Night Before Thanksgiving or//Venus & Mars in Libra” in DREGINALD. A series of moments—walking down Grand Street, pivoting on Putnam, taking the bus to Greenpoint—become infused with back-and-forth switches of vision, allowing Murphy to double her text. This doubling is literal: two prose blocks appear…

Review: THE DARKENING TRAPEZE by Larry Levis
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Review: THE DARKENING TRAPEZE by Larry Levis

The Darkening Trapeze Larry Levis Graywolf Press, January 2016 96 pp; $16 Buy paperback The Darkening Trapeze, Larry Levis’ second posthumous book of poems since his death in 1996, is a strikingly self-conscious collection, a book whose lyrical depth and sweeping beauty is checked by gossip, unflattering confessions, jokes, and self-deprecation at every turn. The…

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The Best Poem I Read This Month: Mia You’s “A Solar Visor And A Song To Sing, Preliminary materials for reunification”

As a result of several wars fought by the United States, North and South Korea have been divided since the mid-20th century. A further division was implemented through the creation of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which, in an epigraph to Mia You’s piece, is noted as a contemporary “viable tourism resource.” Mia You, in “A…

The Required Pain and Suffering: Writing and Love
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The Required Pain and Suffering: Writing and Love

What, if anything, does writing foreclose in life or between people? Despite probably a million compelling counter examples, famous and anecdotal, to the Plath/Hughes model of artistic-romantic implosion, a master narrative about the impossibility of loving writers and loving while a writer simply…persists. It buttresses the imagined partition between needless fun and necessary sacrifice, as…

Review: TESTAMENT by G.C. Waldrep
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Review: TESTAMENT by G.C. Waldrep

Testament G.C. Waldrep BOA Editions, 2015 144 pp, $16 Buy: paperback | Kindle | Nook An endnote to G. C. Waldrep’s excellent new book-length poem points out that it “originated as a exploration of and response to three texts,” Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip (2009), Carla Harryman’s Adorno’s Noise (2008), and Alice Notley’s Alma, or…