Out of the blue, amid all the usual anxieties, chores, rejection slips, & so on, I actually received an enthusiastic response to Stubborn Grew, Forth of July. Someone found a copy of the 2000 Spuyten Duyvil issue of Stubborn, in that classic arcadia, a used bookstore, & started reading, & contacted me.

I certainly hope it's the beginning of a trend. This reader sent me back to the poem myself (I know, it may seem like I've never left...). It would be nice if people began to read it for pleasure, not as a chore ("gotta get through to p. 750 tonight..."). It was meant to be a pleasure. It was a joy to write.

Forth of July has a big spacy shape, a sort of singing quality, sort of light & jolly in most places... there's a consistency to it, amid the changes & labyrinthine processes... it tries to say things which cannot be said so literally, discursively... it's a poem... & I'm trying to say that poetry offers a distinct (& necessary) harmonic recapitulation of experience... Mandelstam's slanting, mysterious imagery & courageous, hopeful spirit is the reigning presence in the background... like a boat or a building, it's built on a tripod, the two lateral parts lean inward & outward from the central part...

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