by Johannes Goransson on Sep.21, 2011
Tim Jones-Yelvington’s review of my book, which I posted about here yesterday, is from the web site Lit Pub. It’s full of reviews of contemporary, small-press books so I read through a bunch of the reviews.
Of particular note for Montevidayo might be Elizabeth Taddonio’s review of Heather Christle’s The Trees The Trees (Octopus Books). I don’t have this book, but I have read some chapbooks by Christle and I like them. Anyway, I think the rhetoric of this review is interesting. Taddonio argues that Christle’s books are “pretty” and “enchanting” and that, though these terms have become insults in modern poetry, she likes that and in fact wants to be “in” the poems:
That’s another thing. Christle’s writing is pretty — really pretty — and the images are surreal and often sweet, but they are also so vivid and genuine that you almost wish you could be in them.
I thought this was interesting because it’s similar to the argument I’ve been making: How the “hard” and “authentic” rhetoric of people from way back to Pound, who wanted to rid poetry of the “corpse language” of pretty/gothic Victorian poetry, up to Silliman’s rejection of “soft surrealism” and Tony Hoagland’s rejection of “manneristic” and “skittery” poetry “of the moment.” Further, it’s so “enchanting” that the reviewer loses track of her “critical distance” and wants to enter into the poem, become friends with the author.
I love the word “enchanting.”