Selected Poetry

Selected Poetry

John Hollander

Language: English

Pages: 194

ISBN: 0679761985

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Perfection is a rare accomplishment, particularly in American poetry, and the perfection of much of Hollander’s work makes it essential reading for anyone who genuinely cares for the craft of poetry.  But in our fallen world we seem fated to value power of perfection, and John Hollander’s poetry has shown a visionary power just often enough to secure him a place as one of the major figures of our moment.”
Vernon Shetley, The New Republic

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A Strange Commonplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

can be great variation in the exterior design; one has seen many playful arrangements—some resemble machines to make or to break. But it is the circuits alone which are terrifying, and the interior spaces whose tolerances are so minute. The energy it consumes is enormous; it is almost too expensive to operate. But of course, one must. Those to be dealt with need not be specially prepared. After the red alert light goes off, there will be a period of waiting; do not disintegrate them at this

has carved into senseless clunch an Impudent and schematic presence, done in Primal intaglio, A circle head perched on a larger circle Of lady body, spidery legs drawn up And outward showing off on the church tower Under the clock, and Cut in a sort of Linear C, her slit. Her hands touch nothing but her knees held open. It is not she who joys in it, nor teaches; But from beneath her A very well-hung personage indeed is Climbing up toward her, as if far from having Merely no words for

the day, an elaborate Serial narrative of sundown. Now a long yawl Crawls wearily into sight: the pine of one idea Points to it as if it should remind the water of Something; but the bay, as if in some old joke about Absorption, is reminded of the sky—everything Reminding water of the sky—despite its bazaar Of reflections. This puzzles the single-minded pine. Opacities of the Pine 20 Firecrackers sounding like shots of handguns rattle The afternoon of early July at a late time For

queening it up in the half-light, Listen to me! No, don’t! Across Broadway and down a bit, the painfully bright Fluorescence and fierce tile of Bickford’s always shone Omnisciently, and someone sad and crazy said “God lives in Bickford’s” But that was after we had all become spectres, too, And eyes, younger eyes, would glisten all unrecognizing As heads turned, Interrupting the stories innocently and inaccurately Being told about us, to watch the revolving door make a tired, Complete

turn, as the shape huddled inside it hardly Bothered to decide not to go in at all, Having been steered there only by the heart’s mistakes In the treasonable night; by a kind of broken habit. GLASS LANDSCAPE The dreadful fields, all bare of images, are swallowing Each other up as he vainly tries to outrace them; shallow Ice-ponds glare; of images there are none, for the eye To see or the ear to convert. Only the barely-whitening Sky to the east menaces the plains with the possibility,

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