Poetry

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And if the man with the choke-hold

And if the man with the choke-hold

— Ezekiel saw the wheel …   And if the man with the choke-hold pulls the standing man down Why does he live and if the dead man is gone why does he rise and Why is there a clicking so...

All About You

All About You

ANY POET WILL TELL YOU that it’s often the smallest words that pack the greatest whispers and punch. The word “you” contains volumes of nuance. It hangs commanding, accusative, or adoring. It’...

Seven Poems by José Emilio Pacheco

Seven Poems by José Emilio Pacheco

The following is a feature article from the new intern issue of the Los Angeles Review of Books: The Magazine. The issue, which our interns produced as part of this past summer’s LARB Publishing Co...

Stephin Merritt's 101 Two-Letter Words

Stephin Merritt's 101 Two-Letter Words

SARAH MESLE: One of the poems in the book starts with fu, so even though your book is about two-letter words, I started thinking about four-letter words. If four-letter words are the dangerous words...

A Child Unkennelled

A Child Unkennelled

IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SETUP for a joke: the time that John Berryman organized a foot race at a garden party. On a summer evening in Salt Lake City, in 1959, the poet was in his cups after lecturing at ...

On Galway Kinnell

On Galway Kinnell

Poet Galway Kinnell passed away on October 28, 2014. We asked a number of poets and critics to reflect on his life and his work. — The Editors ¤ Galway Kinnell ONE OF THE FIRST encounters I ev...

Death and Revelations

Death and Revelations

IF YOU FOLLOW contemporary poetry closely — and maybe even if you don’t — it can get all too easy to mistake the poetry for the debates about it: should it get populist, or turn digital, or spe...

The Work of Mourning

The Work of Mourning

THE FIRST POEM that sprang to mind when I tried to recall a modern elegy was “Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter” by John Crowe Ransom. Ransom (1888–1974) is not a poet whose work I know well...

The Curse of Byron

The Curse of Byron

ONE OF THE MOST famous incidents in the course of the Romantic movement is the ghost-story challenge issued by George Gordon, Lord Byron, in the course of a summer evening in 1816 at the Villa Diodati...

Signifying Nothing

Signifying Nothing

IT COMES LATE in the play, this claim that language is too late: “There would have been a time for such a word.” And with that, Macbeth launches into one of the most meaningful speeches about mea...

When the War Is Over

When the War Is Over

When the War Is Over   When the war is over We will be proud of course the air will be Good for breathing at last The waters will have been improved the salmon And the silence of heaven will mi...