Monday, August 24, 2009

Scroggins on Gizzi & Armantrout

Everything seems to hit the shelves or the internets right at the end of summer, as the imminent classes are breathing down my proverbial neck. To wit: The latest issue of Parnassus: Poetry in Review has just been printed, & my contributor's copies have hit the mailbox. What's in it for me, you ask, that I should plunk down my hard-earned $15?

Well, there's the typical sprinkling of interesting new poems (among them a major chunk of John Matthias); a memorial section to Isaac Meyers and Tom Disch; and the usual run of beautifully-edited essays & essay-reviews: Devin Johnston on Ian Hamilton Finlay's Little Sparta, Wes Davis on Robert Hass, Catherine Madsen on Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Matthias on his co-translator Marko Kraljevic [can't get those diacriticals...], Eric Murphy Selinger on Palestinian poets Samih al-Qasim, Mahmoud Darwish, and Taha Muhammad Ali, and yr. humble blogger on Peter Gizzi & Rae Armantrout. The piece is called "Dark Matters," and begins thus:
On the back cover of Some Values of Landscape and Weather, we're told that Peter Gizzi is "on the quixotic mission of recovering the lyric." While I had no idea we'd lost it, I suppose the blurbist has a point. Gizzi, who during the late 1980s and early 1990s co-edited the excellent and eclectic journal O-bl├ęk, writes within an avant-garde tradition that sometimes views melopoeia with suspicion, or else discounts it entirely. What place song in the ranks of savage, analytic parataxis?
Go forth and buy.


Anonymous said...

Is it possible you might be able to say a little more please about the contents/nature of the Disch memorial section?


- matthew davis

Mark Scroggins said...

Sure, Matthew-- there's an introduction by David Yezzi to "Joycelin Shrager," TD's feminine alter ego, followed by 7 poems by "JS" and 5 poems by Disch under his own name; I assume these are previously uncollected.

Anonymous said...


- matthew davis