358. (William Empson)

Among those brilliant readers and critics, Johnson, Coleridge, Eliot, and Empson, the primary engine of productivity, whether in marginalia, publications, … More

357. (T.S. Eliot)

Approached from the direction of monumentality, The Waste Land calls for the literary historian: the poem is a post-Romantic attempt … More

356. (Charles Baudelaire)

Here is the first stanza of “Obsession,” from Aaron Poochigian’s wonderful new translation of Baudelaire: Vast woods, you scare me … More

355. (Robert Lowell)

“My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereux Winslow” has become one of my favorite poems by Robert Lowell and one that … More

354. (Søren Kierkegaard)

Wittgenstein praised Kierkegaard, but remarked also that a little of Kierkegaard goes a long way. For Wittgenstein, perhaps. But for … More

353. (William Shakespeare)

This is a post on Shakespeare’s sonnets, read narrowly through Empson’s analysis in Some Versions of Pastoral. A friend of … More

352. (William Empson)

            Aristotle, frustrating some, claims that “a life of virtue is a life of flourishing.” The statement can be variously … More

351. (Sonia Sanchez)

One divide in post-1950, maybe post-1960, American poetry could be said to grow out of the claims of the eye. … More

350. (Paule Marshall)

Paule Marshall’s debut novel, Brown Girl, Brownstones is one of the best American novels of the mid-twentieth century. When Marshall … More

349. (Jim Powell)

If readers come across Jim Powell, it is most likely to be in his translation of Sappho—his only work in … More