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Archive for February 16th, 2008

“the safe subject of form”

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From David Orr’s review of Matthea Harvey’s new collection Modern Life.

“The Future of Terror” and “Terror of the Future” are abecedarian poems, which is to say that they follow a particular scheme through the alphabet. There’s a longer explanation for their arrangement — which Harvey unnecessarily provides — but the formal strictures themselves are infinitely less interesting than what’s been done within those strictures. (One suspects that the reason Harvey likes to talk about the safe subject of form so much is that she’s a bit unsettled by her own project.)

Just wondering…. If “form” is a “safe subject,” which again are the dangerous ones?

(For the record, I read Modern Life this week – a single sitting – and thought is one of the better things I’ve read in awhile. Too tired to tell you exactly why just this minute, but, you know, it was good…)

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February 16, 2008 at 12:21 am

Posted in poetry