What Poems Are For, Ctd

Noah Berlatsky counters Meena Alexander’s thesis that “poetry is useful because of its useless essence, not because of its individual meaning”: When poets or writers have been persecuted, it’s generally not because of some abstract contradiction between tyranny and poetry. It’s because the persecuted poets said specific things the tyrants didn’t want to hear. Anna Akhmatova … Continue reading What Poems Are For, Ctd

“The Still, Sad Music Of Humanity”

Tomorrow night, I’m taking part in a celebration of the poetry of Philip Larkin at the Cooper Union in New York City at 7 pm. There will be readings by Meena Alexander, Archie Burnett, Billy Collins, James Fenton, Jonathan Galassi, Deborah Garrison, Adam Gopnik, Eamon Grennan, Mary Karr, Nick Laird, J.D. McClatchy, D. Nurkse, Katha Pollitt, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Saskia Hamilton, Vijay Seshadri, Paul Simon, … Continue reading “The Still, Sad Music Of Humanity”