16 abr. 2006

Ten pages of Jimmy Schuyler in the Oxford Book of American poetry. Too much or too little? I'm sure you know what I think. If it were the right 10 pages, on the other hand, it might be perfect.

William Logan reviews this volume in the New York Times, complaining about these ten pages--too much for him, when Jarrell only gets five. He scores some points against Lehman, that's true. He is right about 70% of the time, which makes him seem reasonable. He complains about the scanty Pound and Williams, for example. But he fails to recognize Frank O'Hara as the central figure of our time.

6 comentarios:

Jess dijo...

Ten Schuyler's beat five Jarrell's. Five Schuyler's beat ten Jarrell's. One Schuyler beats *The Complete Jarrell's*.

(this is not a slight on Jarrell)

Joseph Duemer dijo...

I think Logan is wrong about Schuyler. I would happily take fifteen of Jimmy & leave Jarrell out completely. Well, no, not really--just trying to be provocative. As it happens, I've been reading Schuyler lately & think that he shows a way forward for poetry. Jarrell, not so much. Schuyler is such a painterly poet I can't help loving him. At the end of a poem about looking out a window -- lots of thes in the Collected -- he writes: "The furthest off people are tiny as fine seed / but not at all bug like. A pinprick of blue / is plainly a child running." As with much of Schuyler's poetry, I find those lines both accurate & true.

Jonathan dijo...

I agree, Joseph. And there's no reason why Schuyler shouldn't be a universally admired figure. He published in the New Yorker and his fan-base was not limited to any particular school--despite his New York School affiliation. He is visually superb, and a great Romantic nature poet.

John dijo...

What does it mean that the central figure of our time has been dead for 40 years?

Not that I disagree! Have loved FO'H wildly since the time he'd been dead about, say, 16 years.

Jonathan dijo...

I think it means we are barely catching up to him, that he is a living presence who is more important for us than for his contemporaries.

John dijo...

I don't think I'll ever catch him. He was, you know, a track star for Mineola Prep.