Posts by: David Biespiel
Poets, Poetesses, and Unacknowledged Legislators of Mankind:
I address you at a moment unprecedented in the history of Poetry. I use the word “unprecedented,” because at no previous time has American poetry been as seriously threatened as it is today.
Since the permanent formation of the art of American poetry under the Constitution, in 1789, most of the periods of crisis in our history have related to our narrative affairs....more
If war is a defeat for poetry, what is diplomacy? Like poetry, diplomacy involves craft and discretion, finesse and poise, skill and subtlety. It requires canniness, deliberation, presence of mind, and shrewdness, as well as providence and wisdom.
I’ve been thinking about what poetry might tell us about the landmark deal the United States and five other world powers made this week with Iran to curb its nuclear program in an effort to prevent Tehran from building nuclear bombs....more
New book reports postmodernists forced to write in rhyme and meter
Exposing widespread abuses faced by beginning poets writing in postmodern verses, a new book titled “Between the Lines,” revealed that poets who write post-experimental poetry are forced by their betters to write, sometimes as often as fifteen times a day, completely in rhyme and meter....more
There comes a time in the process of writing a poem when you find yourself putting the reader’s interests and desires ahead of your own as the poet. Not that the reader is a potted plant, I mean. Because the reader is sometimes hostile, other times skeptical, and still other times easily moved, or hopeful, or open, or predisposed, willing to be carried forth....more
As with the myth of America, America’s poets believe a poem should go from rags to riches. And yet, why so much surprise when it actually happens?
There is more to American poetry than its genial and hospitable prairie lands. And yet the poetry of its postmodern coasts all too often acts like an immigrant who is naive about the nation’s enigmas and repugnances....more
Every since I wrote this weekend with the news that I’m stepping down, after 11 years, as a columnist on poetry for my local paper, I’ve received some very nice farewells. I mean, very nice. One woman wrote me to say she had read and kept each and every one of the pieces in binders marked On Poetry....more