Thursday, May 24, 2012


I do not have a settled opinion about Robert Pinsky's new Selected Poems. The only thing I have an opinion about is the blurbs.

The two blurbs on the front flap are by Robert Lowell and Louise Glück. The six blurbs on the back of the jacket are all by far less eminent poets.

Lowell and Glück represent absolutely nothing but the marketing power of name-recognition. They are logos. This fact is proved by the tautologies that float as quotes above their names –

"It is refreshing to find a poet who is intellectually interesting and technically first-rate." Robert Lowell

"Simply said, Robert Pinsky is one of the few literary artists working in our language whose work is unquestionably major work." Louise Glück