Coming After: Essays on Poetry (Poets on Poetry) by Alice Notley

By Alice Notley

Coming After gathers severe items through acclaimed poet Alice Notley, writer of Mysteries of Small homes and Disobedience.Notley explores the paintings of second-generation big apple university poets and their allies: Ted Berrigan, Anne Waldman, Joanne Kyger, Ron Padgett, Lorenzo Thomas, and others. those essays and studies are one of the first to accommodate a new release of poets infamous for his or her refusal to criticize and theorize, assuming the stance that "only the poems matter." The essays are characterised by way of Notley's powerful, compelling voice, which transfixes the reader even in the course of expert element. Coming After revives the opportunity of the readable booklet of feedback.

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That sequence stands out as “different,” a blasting in of a dead friend’s voice, in the midst of, in the surrounding sequences, a swirl of memory, opinion, song, and connection to past others, including Hollo’s past selves. The section is preceded by, as epigraph, William Carlos Williams’s statement that “the sonnet . . is not a form at all but a state of mind. It is the . . ” For Hollo the point has not been to write sonnets so much as to manifest a sort of consciousness, a mind thinking and remembering, consciousness being dialogic.

That is, it isn’t itself a computerized conglomerate, doesn’t spout facts as possession, but it’s equal to all that. It could probably handle the future. 51 Elmslie’s Routine Disruptions Contemplating writing this review of Routine Disruptions: Selected Poems & Lyrics by Kenward Elmslie—an excellent collection— I’ve been unable to dislodge a picture from my mind. It is of Elmslie during a reading several years ago, with a large “hat” on, made by an artist, that used as its primary image a large brassiere.

These fourteen-liners provide an easily replicable container for what is otherwise formless and continuous though patterned. “Mind is shapely,” as Allen Ginsberg says; but it isn’t shaped like art. Hollo here is using the sonnet to place corners, sides, melody, further patterning on the mind’s dense workings so that they can be looked at at all and essences extracted. The Arst sonnet sequence, bearing the title of the whole section, is probably the prettiest and most classical. It makes use of material from Lewis Carroll, Robert Creeley, Jack Clarke, Piero Heliczer, Ted Berrigan, Cavalcanti, Joanne Kyger, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Edwin Denby, Petrarch, Jouni Inkala, Tom Raworth, Gunnar Harding, and the author: underground trees slow darkness and fear has lien upon the heart of me magpie steals silver spoon it is gone forever like the eyeglasses of the less fortunate in a terrifying gray light from the future the carnival continues a place where a sad horde of such as love and whom love tortures point to the moon and break it The second sequence, “Small Door at Far End,” only four sonnets long, comments on recent twentieth-century artistic and critical practices: 44 time for your take, you assholes ..........................

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