Coming after : essays on poetry by Alice Notley

By Alice Notley

Coming After gathers severe items via acclaimed poet Alice Notley, writer of Mysteries of Small Houses and Disobedience.

Notley explores the paintings of second-generation manhattan university poets and their allies: Ted Berrigan, Anne Waldman, Joanne Kyger, Ron Padgett, Lorenzo Thomas, and others. those essays and studies are one of the first to accommodate a new release of poets infamous for his or her refusal to criticize and theorize, assuming the stance that "only the poems matter." The essays are characterised via Notley's powerful, compelling voice, which transfixes the reader even in the course of expert element. Coming After revives the potential of the readable booklet of criticism.

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Guess who said that. Mutt and Jeff who used to look so good in the comics. I especially liked their moustaches. And the sense in it that God is watching from some untelevised height, and sometimes throws himself on the ground. There is a tremendous impact, for the molecules of God are just tremendous. This is a criticism of criticism that ends in an exceedingly unexpected way. ” In the poem Mutt and Jeff are introduced only brieBy as paradigms of the average mouthpiece; but then in a bit of pronominal sleight-of-hand, “And the sense in it,” referring back to “that,” the critical statement, “God” is introduced into the poem.

Saw / when the Bood subsided / only the white man remain”); read a cat-urine-stained book by some late urban ironists. “Not a Form at All But a State of Mind,” which is made up of six sequences, is an outburst of multiple voices in the sonnet form. ” They don’t sound at all like 43 Berrigan, except in “Lines from Ted: An Ars Poetica,” a sequence made up of selections from a talk given by Berrigan at the Naropa Institute in 1982. That sequence stands out as “different,” a blasting in of a dead friend’s voice, in the midst of, in the surrounding sequences, a swirl of memory, opinion, song, and connection to past others, including Hollo’s past selves.

They quicken and enliven the poem, making it idiomatic but not corny, trenchant. All of Kyger’s effects in whatever poem seem spontaneous, and spontaneity adds edge, in fact, since it’s difAcult and everyone knows that, a real feat if maintained as a way of being or an ethic. This Coyote poem, which is untitled, is alive throughout with ordinary words used quickly, vividly, and musically: But Meadow Lark came and drove him away saying People no good, People smell. When they die, they better stay dead.

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