For the past two years in our April issue, we have devoted a substantial portion of The New Criterion to a special section on poetry. We are delighted to continue that tradition this year. David Yezzi, who is the director of the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y as well as the poetry editor of The New Criterion, has assembled some splendid essays on poetry past and present, from Peter Campions reflections on the scabrously ebullient John Wilmot (16471680), the second Earl of Rochester, to Adam Kirschs reconsideration of The Waste Land and Daniel Mark Epsteins magisterial meditation on the achievement of Richard Wilbur. Mr. Yezzi has also contributed a thoughtful essay on the vicissitudes of formal verse at a timeour timewhen the advantages of form, in poetry as elsewhere, are widely neglected. This issue also includes new poems by Timothy Steele, a reassessment of Robert Southeys place in the pantheon of poets, a review of Stephen Greenblatts new book on Shakespeare, and a moving memorial to the American poet Michael Donaghy, who died suddenly last September at the age of fifty. T. S. Eliot began his most famous poem with the declaration that April is the cruellest month. At The New Criterion, April is the month most devoted to the vigor of poetry.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 8, on page 3
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