Thursday, December 26, 2013

I got a Christmas present

Editors who haven't absorbed Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, and Prokofiev into the core of their consciousness should stop publishing poetry. They should seek a new line of work.

If that rule were followed, then Poetry Magazine and so many other journals wouldn't be foisting so much unremarkable stuff (banality of vision) upon the world. If that rule were followed, it would be much less stressful for me in my quest to find readable poems.

And there's something quite odd about editors who sit back and sift through submissions, in order to settle on the least awful, on something less than the finest poems ever written.

How to know when such a poem presents itself? If you as an editor know Schubert's music, then you will know by an arcing of profound aesthetic sympathy when you are in the presence of a publishable poem. How to find such poems? I have no idea. I'm not an editor.

Somehow against all editorial odds, the poems of Adam Zagajewski made their way into the world, got published. Poems of the highest artistic quality. Astoundingness apparently does sometimes happen in the literary dimension.

Two of Santa's elves -- my daughter and her boyfriend -- got me this for Christmas:

Unseen Hand: Poems
Adam Zagajewski


  1. Hurrah! I just read these reviews of the book. You should be in for quite a treat.

    Now it's your turn.