From Poetry

A Defence of Science

Growing out of a Fall 2017 project initially submitted for Professor Richard Sacks’ “The English Sonnet” course at Columbia University, Emily Sun’s essay is an analysis of a critical edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Sonnet—To Science.” The edition was produced by Sun herself from a number of existing editions of the poem, and is contained…

100th Volume Retrospective: Happy Autumn Fields by John Ashbery

John Ashbery won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and many other prizes. This poem was published by the Review over twenty years after he had earned his M.A. from Columbia. Happy Autumn Fields by John Ashbery I call it (though I’m no authority)The big syndrome, of when everythingLies down together. The pointed roofsThat called…

100th Volume Retrospective: Choruses by John Hollander

John Hollander was an eminent poet, scholar, and critic. He has written numerous poetry collections, the first of which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. He is also known for his 1981 book Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse. Choruses by John Hollander I (The crumbling days and the hard cold nightsAre flickering,…

100th Volume Retrospective: Atonement by Mary Morris

As a countdown to the release of the first issue of our 100th volume on December 14th, we will be posting pieces every day from previous issues over the years. Our first piece was written by Mary Morris, who went on to earn the Rome Prize in Literature and publish many novels, memoirs, and story collections. She…

Endnotes on Pale Fire

  Azure adj.    blue, bright, cloudless; (of love) cloudless: The false azure of cloudless love. And when a noun – heaven, palate, the roof of one’s mouth. Azure as in: The bright, bottomless vowels that once echoed against the roof of your mouth. Or: Unstuck from your palate, here I am – trying to speak your…

Water Lilies after Monet

And light— my paint liquid light— the pale flush of rose lustrous daffodil yellow lilac blue and soft electric silver warm blaze colored oil glowing light— shimmering green    mesmerizing blurring    deep and nebulous sheer light   and all I feel is moment… here hazy and    bleary glinting of clouds limpid sapphire flashing sky whirling cloud-strokes…

Eating Bread is Wooden Ships Crashing on the Shore 

There is a dial tone in the mirror. In a single room, blue invents a forest, and when the light arrives, it arrives like milk, without origin—white rain erasing fliers on a phone-pole.   Milk is the ranger, transducted through the forest’s million acres, emerging on the other side as a pencil. Milk is a bookmark. Milk reminds you of the sound foreign coins make in your pocket, and gladly, you are near. Milk has a weight in the mouth like a tuba has in the ear, and the chest which is the ear’s private amphitheater.   The moonlit pond…

Exeter Book Riddle #47: The Book-Moth

Original Old English: Moððe word fræt.        Me þæt þuhte wrætlicu wyrd,        þa ic þæt wundor gefrægn, þæt se wyrm forswealg        wera gied sumes, þeof in þystro,        þrymfæstne cwide ond þæs strangan staþol.        Stælgiest ne wæs wihte þy gleawra,        þe he þam wordum swealg.   English Translation: A moth made feast of words.        I thought that…