Category Archives: In Verse

in verse #39 : the lost leader

I raised the issue in my last post of the political and economic forces driving Romantic poetry, citing Roger Sales, who argues that in the Romantic authors we find apologists for the destruction of English rural life.[i]  Jonathan Langford, in … Continue reading

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in verse #38 : Greek to me

Alexander Pope, born in 1688, dead in his 56th year, commonly viewed as the last great neo-classicist, could also be viewed as the first of the Romantics — because of his sincerity.  As Aubrey Williams has it:  “Pope’s poetry can … Continue reading

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in verse #36 : For I will consider Christopher Smart

Anyone might consider him smart, for that matter.  He was well educated in Greek and Latin as a schoolboy, attended Pembroke College, Cambridge, earned many scholarships (most for scholarship), was widely published both as a poet and as an essayist, … Continue reading

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in verse #35 : Blake our guide

Dante chose as his guide through Hell and Purgatory his great predecessor Virgil, the greatest of the Latin epic poets.  But when he came to the gates of Heaven, Virgil could not enter, and the pure Beatrice became his guide … Continue reading

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in verse # 34 : a different Blake

If William Blake is the father of contemporary American free verse, Emily Dickinson is surely its mother.  But hold on, I hear you say, wasn’t that father Walt Whitman?  Well, maybe he was the godfather.  And I am aware of … Continue reading

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Second Anniversary of Fire in the Pasture

. This month, Tyler Chadwick‘s masterfully constructed anthology—unquestionably the finest poetry anthology in, like, ever.* Besides his stellar work as editor, you have the complicated but beautiful book design by Elizabeth Beeton, the now iconic cover painting by Casey Jex Smith, … Continue reading

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in verse # 33 : a Blake vision

William Blake was perfectly capable of writing rhyming verse; it can and has been set to music.  Here is the text of an anthem known as “Jerusalem,” written by Blake around 1804 and set to music by Sir Hubert Parry … Continue reading

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in verse # 32 : warning – vasty generalization looming

Looming on my intellectual horizon, and thus on yours, unless, on reading this prophecy, you bail on me, is a vasty generalization — to which I am being enticed by John Pollack through the medium of his book The pun … Continue reading

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in verse # 31 : dark Satanic mills

If I were to tell you that I was writing a parody bent on displaying a hacker’s mindset, based on Ira Gershwin’s “I got rhythm,” and that it began I got rhythm                  … Continue reading

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in verse # 30 : the doors of perception

The first day of war in heaven didn’t go so well for Satan and his crew.  But as they counseled together in their defeat, Satan put forth a plan.  It takes the form of an assertion regarding that Heaven in … Continue reading

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