My (seemingly one-way) disagreement with John Latta last month, over the merit/authenticity of a poem by Wallace Stevens, is kind of funny, since I was the one who "framed" him (Latta) with Stevens (in a review of Breeze).

Today he has some interesting comments on sentences & lines, & quotes Lyn Hejinian quoting Soviet writer Osip Brik. Here's Nadezhda Mandelstam on Brik (which I read in Hope Against Hope a couple days ago):

"In the poetry of the period he (Mandelstam) prophesies the onset of dumbness ('human lips preserve the form of the last word they have uttered' - in 'Finder of a Horseshoe', 1923). It was in fact this line that Brik and Tarasenkov seized on as proof that M. had 'written himself out' - they gave little thought to the real sense of the poem before pronouncing this judgement. For them all means were fair in the struggle. Brik had turned his apartment into a place where his colleagues in the Cheka... could meet with writers and sound out public opinion, simultaneously collecting information for their first dossiers. It was here that M. and Akhmatova were first branded as 'internal emigres' - a label which was to play an important part in their subsequent fate." (N. Mandelstam, Hope Against Hope; The Modern Library, trans. Max Hayward)

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