Sunday, April 02, 2006

Today's NY Times Book Section offers a wonderful cento by poet David Lehman (you only have a week to download that pdf before the link expires). Over the years I've begun and abandoned this project time and time again and find myself with lines from favorite poems scattered about. The problem is at the moment I can't seem to stomach such left margin clinging poetry...so I would have to have the lines sprayed like a Jackson Pollock in order to satisfy my poetic eye.
April is poetry month, and we waste no time getting to the big guns. The Times has a fabulous feature tying in with the recent publication of work by Elizabeth Bishop. The strangely titled Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments, is edited by New Yorker poetry editor Alice Quinn, and published by FSG. Of course Bishop is wonderful, wonderful, and I'm curious to see what Quinn turns up in this volume. I know she is a huge fan--anyone who reads the New Yorker even on occasion would know that. I also know that Quinn, and many other formally minded poets, view Bishop as the "only" Canadian poet (with Anne Carson now occupying one half of that slender spot). This will comes as news to many, I'm sure...it was a surprise to me. It would be nice to have an updated image of Canadian poetry outside of our borders, but that seems a difficult task to manage.

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