Sunday, May 24, 2009

`Essential Pleasures'

My review of Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud, edited by Robert Pinsky, appears in Issue 16 of The Quarterly Conversation. Thanks to Levi Stahl, the journal’s poetry editor, for giving me the assignment.


William A. Sigler said...

Awesome review--you do Ormsby and Logan -- and dare I say it, Randall Jarrell -- proud.

Ciara said...

Very fine post - does all the things a review should! On the subject of reading aloud - do you have any suggestions as to how an American can learn how it should be done? I never had any notion of the possibilities until I heard M.H. Abrams read "A Red Wheelbarrow" when I was an undergraduate, or heard a Polish lecturer declaim a Polish classic. Our idea of how to read poetry aloud is sadly flat and uninteresting. (Of course, when I ask for suggestions, I mean something that will teach fairly quickly. ;-) )

Jonathan said...


If Patrick will allow me to offer you a link, may I suggest another fine reading that for me was startling. It's a well known recording of Yeats reading "The Lake Isle of Innisfree".

If we follow Yeats' lead, perhaps we are to take the metaphor of poetry as music a little more literally than we do. Maybe we're to pick a note, throw in some vibratto and damn the expectations of others. It seemed to work for W.B.