The Hatred of Poetry – Ben Lerner (Review)

By expecting it to live up to its platonic ideal, created by mythologising expectations of things it can supposedly do — produce transcendental feelings; change the world; speak to an individual and universal experience at the same time; restructure and reform society through shock — we learn to hate poetry.

That’s the central premise of Lerner’s monograph. It’s one I find myself broadly supporting.

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The Thunder Storm

There was a storm forecast for just after midnight, so I went to close the windows in my living room.

In the dark I could see the storm coming. The clouds were lit up from inside, silently flashing in the dark, humid night, marbled deep blue and purple and grey. The water of the wharf outside was flat as glass, with the occasional pin prick of rain. Save for the rolling clouds driving up from the south west and the ominous silent flashes of lightning hidden in the clouds, the night was utterly still.

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The Monster List of Books 2017

bookstackI didn’t manage to read enough during Twenty-Seventeen. Including books I re-read, books I began but didn’t finish, and books I read for the first time, I read a paltry thirty-nine books, which was still somehow more than last year. If you subtract the ones I didn’t finish (nine) I still managed more than last year. A miracle. If only I was ten again. I had plenty of time to read then. Out of school, when I should have been asleep, in school, during Maths… Continue reading “The Monster List of Books 2017”