Some thirty years before she began rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ted Hughes and Kurt Vonnegut and captivating poetry readers with the rich lyric compression of her first volume, The Kingfisher (1983), Amy Clampitt warned her brother Philip, in the midst of a particularly long letter: “I see you skipping lines already, or at least wishing the creature would come to the point. But the creature is garrulous, you know, and besides the point, if you skip at all, is likely to become invisible.” One cannot help but feel these lines reaching across three decades to snap their playful admonition at Clampitt’s contemporary readers as well. Skimmers, beware: Though her densely intelligent, complex poems are never garrulous, they will not yield their bounty without the kind of concentrated attention to nuance and style that won Clampitt herself such high regard when she finally began to publish them at the age of ...

 
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