Blood on the River: James Town This captivating and gritty novel, narrated by Samuel Collier, one of the boys who came to Jamestown, will not just turn kids on to reading, but American history as well. In his clear-eyed, harrowing account of the first year of the Jamestown Settlement, eleven-year-old orphan Samuel accompa The sixty-year-old pilot, Benjamin Malloy, who had been atte
Jan 25, Scott rated it it was ok Meh. It was really just an anthology with a few comments. It's possible I just don't "get" Robert Pinsky, but I doubt it.
I know his poetry and anthologies are almost universally beloved, but I can't find much to love in either. I'll limit my comments in this review to ones regarding only Singing School.
While the introduction was promising and had me reaching for my highlighter and pen to add excited marginalia, once the book proper began, I was wholly disappointed. First, Pinksy's analyses of the poems are limited to a pith I'm sorry. First, Pinksy's analyses of the poems are limited to a pithy sentence or two which serve to highlight some formal element and pose a writing challenge for the reader.
Granted, he discusses some of the poems in each chapter introduction, but these go no more than detail and surface deep. Second, while Pinsky suggests early in the book that he'll be focusing on older works as examples because doing so inhibits imitation and forces aspiring writers to discover essence.
But the poems he selects just don't move me. Yes, they may embody a particular point Pinsky is making but I find it hard to believe those were the "best" he could find. I was inspired to create my own anthology of poems which make me see anew.
Maybe that's a good lesson from Singing School.Included are poems by Aphra Behn, Allen Ginsberg, George Herbert, John Keats, Mina Loy, Thomas Nashe, and many other master poets.
This anthology respects poetry's mysteries in two senses of the word: techniques of craft and strokes of the inexplicable. I don't believe in talent.
I don't believe that anyone is born with a natural sense of colour, or with a natural sense of design. I don't believe that anyone is born with a natural ability to draw. Or make music, or play football, or anything else for that matter. I don't believe in talent.
The book is called Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by studying with the Masters. It includes a word meditation on time by 19th century British writer Walter Savage Landor.
Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press, ) and Helen or My Hunger (YesYes Books, forthcoming). Her work appears in Gulf Coast, American Poetry Review, Guernica, jubilat, Bennington Review, and Colorado Review, among metin2sell.com has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.
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