When is poetry bad? Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry

As regular readers will recall, I bought this book on spec before Christmas from a wily book catalogue. Reading it - it is a long essay on why people hate poetry - is an unfolding sequence of stimulants, a nuggetty book about what poetry is and does, from the perspective of those who hate it. Lerner, … Continue reading When is poetry bad? Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry

Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Jim Carruth’s Killochries

It's Poetry Week for Vulpes Libris, so how happy was I that I had a beautiful new poem about mucking out the byre to write about. Jim Carruth's Killochries is simply lovely to read, taking no more than an evening, maybe even a longish train commute. Short lines, fine words, the story of a messed-up man sent by his … Continue reading Now posting on Vulpes Libris: Jim Carruth’s Killochries

‘The Plaint of the Middlebrow Novelist’

Here's a short comic poem to brighten your day. Written by the otherwise totally forgotten actress and novelist * Phoebe Fenwick Gaye and published (first? goodness knows) in 1937 in the feminist and progressive weekly magazine Time and Tide, this poem is valuable evidence of the cultural squabble that we in the trade call The Battle … Continue reading ‘The Plaint of the Middlebrow Novelist’