Lineation: the Knife Skills of Poetry

Ah, lineation. I handle you constantly, careful one time, clumsy the next. I imagine hope I’m getting better, but sometimes, the slice is too thick or too thin. My fingertips are always bleeding from cuts that I sometimes don’t notice until later. Stigmata of those who write poems? I really want to get a copy […]

From Marvin Bell to Ozzy Osbourne?

I first came across Marvin Bell when I read┬áhis opening remarks to a┬áconference on camouflage held five years ago. In some ways, his linking of camouflage to poetry was somewhat formative in my own thinking as well, how “poetry doesn’t easily reveal itself,” how “it can be the lie that tells the truth.” At the […]

Overspeeding (Levertov’s Line)

Despite the acknowledged importance of the line as a poetic device and my own fixation with it, reading essays about it by Denise Levertov is proving nearly as embarrassing as it is enlightening. For so long now, I’ve been reading linebreaks endings incorrectly, at least following from Levertov’s assertions in, say, “Technique and Tune-up”: [O]bserving […]

Dobyns, Gluck, Levertov

One of the reasons I love grad school so much is the chance to not only read books but to discuss them with other students. While my inclinations and interests lead me more to poetics that are closer to this, I have been interested in one reason or another, I’ve been interested in those three […]