Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Elizabeth Bishop connected verse to “the art of losing,” a creative pursuit for virtuosos who “practice losing farther, losing faster,” falling away and away from Keats’ crystalline melody, down the stairway to heaven, headlong into the dungheap of the actual. "His struggle to give concrete form to an increasingly abstract concept of art is just 'form gulping after formlessness,' as Wallace Stevens put it. All rights reserved. The Hatred of Poetry (Book) : Lerner, Ben : The novelist and poet Ben Lerner argues that our hatred of poetry is ultimately a sign of its nagging relevance. The Hatred of Poetry By Ben Lerner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 86pp., $12) Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry is a slim book with a husky premise: “The fatal problem with poetry: poems.” This is Lerner’s first book since winning a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2015 for his two widely celebrated novels. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. Engaging . In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art. “Perhaps The Hatred of Poetry is most compelling when reflecting on how poetry shapes our childhoods. Find books by time period, setting & theme, Read-alike suggestions by book and author. Poems are supposed to do everything at once, but just the fact of a poem’s existence crowds out all the other, fairer ghost-poems it could have possibly been. Or we will next time! His confession is good strategy, an attempt to assure the unwashed masses that the author is unpretentious and beer-summit–able, never mind his critically acclaimed fiction and poetic calling. fsg originals the hatred of poetry. Lerner is a professor of English at Brooklyn College. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller. (Here is Lerner meshing learning with wry diffidence: “A feeble shadow of an original conception sounds like Plato, although Plato didn’t think a poet could really conceive of much.”) You might ask whether Orpheus and company truly need another defense against the haters, even one packaged as a sympathetic ontology of the hate. In his book of literary commentary, The Hatred of Poetry, Lerner posits a very different role for art in modernity, one that turns not on the willing suspension of disbelief, but on our “embarrassment” that poems and novels exist at all. But Lerner convinced me, at least, that distrust of poetry does simmer in the United States—and that it might seep in part from our early, Romantic association between poems and personhood, our sense that poetry expresses (and arises naturally from) an irreducible self. And you'll never see this message again. Hatred of Poetry does a brilliant job showing how poets “strategically disappoint” our assumptions about what the medium should do. Maybe poetry remains atmospheric and diffuse, a lambent quality in the air. In the word virgule, Lerner says he hears “the meteorological phenomenon known as virga, my favorite kind of weather: streaks of water or ice particles trailing from a cloud that evaporate before they reach the ground. Throughout, he attempts to explain the noble failure at the heart of every truly great and truly horrible poem: the impulse to launch the experience of an individual into a timeless communal existence. It's even bemoaned by poets: "I, too, dislike it," wrote Marianne Moore. It shows. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is. Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series. You’ve run out of free articles. - Kirkus. That’s a likable thought. Lerner's brief, elegant treatise on what poetry might do and why readers might need it is the perfect length for a commute or a classroom assignment, clearing a space for both private contemplation and lively discussion." [Lerner’s] granular, giddy analysis of Scottish bard William Topaz McGonagall, ‘widely acclaimed as the worst poet in history,’ fascinates as the negative expression of a Parnassian ideal. Full access is for members only. The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner. He examines poetry's greatest haters (beginning with Plato's famous claim that an ideal city had no place for poets, who would only corrupt and mislead the young) and both its greatest and worst practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. You're moved to write a poem, you feel called upon to sing, because of that transcendent impulse. At least, it’s possible. Summary. Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. Lerner’s slapstick instincts make this spill—hardly a novel concept in life or literature—mercilessly funny. (He’s penned three verse collections alongside his novels Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04.) His second novel, 10:04, an international bestseller, won The Paris Review's 2012 Terry Southern Prize, was a finalist for the 2014 New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award and the Folio Prize, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by more than a dozen major publications. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Photo by Kichigin/Thinkstock. Information at is published with the permission of the copyright holder or their agent. The hatred of poetry: Names: Lerner, Ben. “I, too, dislike it.” At one point, he calls the words “a kind of manic, mantric affirmation.” Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is. text publishing the hatred of poetry book by ben lerner. 96 pages, $12. Superbly written . The mere desire for a poem is enough. (His: a wrestling match between the real and the possible. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. He’s not bullshitting us; his rhetorical sorcery levitates plenty of plausible claims, and ones burnished with the extra shine of his sincere belief. Title You can cancel anytime. His granular, giddy analysis of Scottish bard William Topaz McGonagall, “widely acclaimed as the worst poet in history,” fascinates as the negative expression of a Parnassian ideal. O when you people say you hate it I want to gather you into my arms as you beat my chest and scream I hate it I hate it I hate it and I want to whisper to you over and over again that I, too, hate it until we put our tongues in each other’s mouths. Keats, famed for otherworldly, musical lines, reminds us that “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ are sweeter.” Emily Dickinson prefers to “dwell in Possibility,” in a virtual house made of windows and doors, rather than the concrete hut of the actual. But despite its reception as an act of high-wire trolling, Lerner’s 86-page essay makes one thing abundantly clear: He loves poetry. Poetry haters aren’t rubes; they’re idealists. . Genre: Poetry

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