There Goes My Poetic Intellectual Cred

I have new-and-collected fatigue. I was working my way through Czeslaw Milosz’s New and Collected Poems (1931-2001), 770-some pages, at night before I went to sleep, and I finally realized I was completely sick of it. Do I just lack patience? It’s happened before, with another well-regarded poet. (I’m not going to tell you who. I fear I’ve already damned myself in the eyes of The Academy.) I actually ended up giving the book–an expensive hardcover–away to a fellow poet. I commit to these huge collections based on one or two poems I really like, and then, after about 300 pages, I realize that I don’t like their work as much as I hoped to like it. Oh please don’t revoke my poetic membership, Poetry Authorities!


Edited to add: I realized that in the past month I’ve sometimes been writing in a longer poetic line. It feels freeing and exciting, and I suspect this was a result of reading all that Milosz, who writes in a very long line. I think I was getting the sound in my head even while I was struggling with it. Praise Milosz! I’m still putting the book down for a while, however. 😉


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