Category Archives: In Verse

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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in verse # 29 : of the devil’s party

William Blake was Milton’s son.  But it was no easy birth.  In his fine article on Milton’s prosody, John Creaser describes how Milton was able to work so well within the conventions of blank verse.  Creaser begins by summarizing the … Continue reading

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in verse # 28 : the pun is meatier than the surd

Sitting at home alone in bed when I was 13, and unable to go out because I was undergoing the aftermath of rheumatic fever, I entertained myself with old copies of Reader’s Digest.  One of the things I digested thoroughly … Continue reading

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in verse # 27 : wretched matter and lame Meter

John Milton didn’t know jack about free verse, and yet when he explicated his reason for shunning rime he sounded like he understood the reasoning of the free versifiers at the turn of the last century.  In introducing Paradise lost … Continue reading

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in verse #26 : organ music

If the last three letters of the f-word are what seems most repellent about it — the sound of “uck” — that would explain how some other words ending that way still seem a bit odd, if not funny or … Continue reading

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