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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Perfect Lyric

This is a guest post by my good friend, the French poet Jacques Restif:

Everyone is against the idea of the gem-like, perfect lyric poem. Everyone except me. That's all I really care about: the small, perfect, radiant lyric, like "Rose-cheekt Laura, come..." If my own poetry doesn't resemble that at all, it's because that is a rare thing. When I hit something close to that, I am happy, "like cellophane tape / on a schoolbook." Or the poems of Reverdy or Miguel Hernández.

People hate beauty, as though beauty would diminish them. It doesn't diminish you at all that someone else is more beautiful, or has created more beauty than you. As my friend Jonathan says, you must take beauty where you find it.

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