More from William Logan

William LoganEarlier this month, we published excerpts from William Logan’s Our Savage Art: Poetry and the Civil Tongue. Readers of Logan’s criticism, which appears in the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, can attest to the fact that he rarely minces words in either his praise or his criticism of poets. With that in mind, here are some more excerpts from Logan’s work:

On Billy Collins: “The world can stand one Billy Collins, but what happens when everyone writes poems that humiliate the art they practice? I feel like a grouch to ask, but what then?”

On Robert Lowell: “Lowell was the most the brilliant poet of the postwar period.”

On the re-publication of Robert Lowell’s Selected Poems: “There were no reasons other than perversity and laziness to bring this bedraggled Selected back into print, where it will confuse Lowell’s readers for years to come.”

On Robert Pinsky: “Robert Pinsky’s poems are so professional, you feel he dresses in a suit and tie before sitting at his desk.”

On Jorie Graham: “When Jorie Graham has a message, it’s a very big message; and it couldn’t be any BIGGER if it were plastered on a BILLBOARD. Things MATTER, they matter a LOT, no REALLY, they matter THIS VERY SECOND. Graham wasn’t always a poet reduced to pouting and pontificating; but the reader can keep track of her now only by how loudly she’s shouting.”

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