Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Parnassus : Poetry in Review is a magazine focusing on Humanities

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 1/2, 2015

Best in Show
Best in Show David Yezzi. Birds of the Air Carnegie Mellon University Press 2013. 88 pp. $15.95 (paper)"The poem isn't complete on the page," David Yezzi has reI I "It needs to be spoken out loud. The performance .A. is just as important as the poem...
Crossing the Water with the Argonauts
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-USASCII text omitted.)Crossing the Water with the Argonauts Apollonius of Rhodes. Jason and the Argonauts. Translated by Aaron Poochigan. Penguin Classics 2014. 272 pp. $15.00 (paper)Not one body, but five: This surprising...
Elijah vs. Santa
Weight advantage: Santa. Sugar and milkat every stop, the stout man shimmiesdown one more chimney, sack of desirechuting behind, while Elijah, skinnyand empty-handed, slips in invisible asa once-favored, since-disgraced uncle,through the propped-open...
Fruits De Mer
2011A swirling blackness in the 20th, only the eyes visible,or Le Monde on a historic morning, ink-heavy headline heavingon the ground like a soldier who cannot stop the darkfrom leaving his body. At Père Lachaise,a coven of teenagers in black trench...
Ghazal, Guitars, and Dumb Blocks
Ghazal, Guitars, and Dumb Blocks David Breskin, Neis Cline, and Ed Ruscha. DIRTY BABY. Delmonico Books-Prestel 2010. 160 pp. $97.49It seems there is always some plot afoot to get poetry "off the page," always some recrudescent hope that poetry might...
Inventor of the Porco-Forte
(Cincinnati, 1839)The pigs were not much takenwith his sense of humor.He thought first of arrangingto have them struck with wooden hammers,like piano strings,but finally, to make them squeal on cue,he rigged up springsto pinch their little tailswhen...
Jerkwater
town's the home of Jeroboamwho is aquarius to every passing phantom train.Houses are jerrybuilt and shake like Jerichowhen jayhawker nightfreights come arumbling through.The Jews, the Gentiles there. The arbitrary constant Cwas married to an Imam, tsar...
Jugurtha
"Providence sometimes causes the same man to reappear across many ages."-Balzac, LettersI.A prodigious child was born in the Arabian hills/And a light breeze said: "He is Jugurtha's heir."A few days had passed when there arose from the infantWho would...
Linda Collins
This issue of Parnassus is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Linda Collins, dear friend, generous patron, music maven, and artful writer. She wrote a collection of engaging short stories, marked by probing psychological delicacy, and in her last years...
Long-Term Unemployed
I. CONSOLE: Xbox 360It shouldn't be so hard to be of use.Here's hands, nail apron, and your hem saw: prieststestifying, Te deum laudamos.Your reference from Donald at the HomeDepot vouches that what you do to the leastis measure twice, cut once. Deposed...
Love and Theft: Dylan's Appropriations
David Dalton. Who Is That Man1 In Search of the Real Bob Dylan. Hyperion 2012. 374 pp. $26.99Sid Griffin. Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band, and the Basement Tapes. Jawbone Press 2007. 336 pp. $19.95 (paper)John Hughes. Invisible Now: Bob Dylan...
Mister Dylan Has Gone Backstage: A Case History
a a h. did you once see Shelley plain?" asked Robert Browning, "And did he stop and speak to you?" I once saw Dylan A JLplain, on stage at the Glasgow Odeon in 1966, and his songs certainly spoke to me. He performed alone during the first half of the...
Mixed Dancing
Alicia Suskin Ostriker. The Book of Life: SelectedJewish Poems, 1979-2011. University of Pittsburgh Press 2012. $16.95 (paper)Alicia Suskin Ostriker. Dancing at the Devils Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic. University of Michigan Press...
Musée Du Louvre
The room was like a mosh pit, smelling ofsweat and the vomit of small children, withbodies packed in as on a subway train.The image behind its bulletproof glasswas mostly ignored, flanked on either sideby guards who looked uneasy, as if theyhad been...
No Net of Garish Words: Thoughts on Shelley's "Letter to Maria Gisborne"
It doesn't get much respect. Shelley's late poem "Letter to Maria Gisborne" hasn't been examined at any length by the eminent critics of the English Romantic movement (Matthew Arnold, A. C. Bradley, M. H. Abrams, Harold Bloom), and very few critical...
On a Passage in Figaro
It's obvious that music can do a lot for words. Just last week I was struck, while watching a televised performance of La Bohème, by the way some of Rodolfo's mundane, getting-to-know-you words to Mimi surge, swell, and soar beyond themselves with music-infused...
Reviewing a Unicorn
for Michael ListaReviewing Chinese Democracy [by Guns N' Roses] is not like reviewing music. It's more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? -Chuck KlostermanThe...
Rimbaud's Ode to Jugurtha
Among Arthur Rimbauds earliest surviving poems is a Latin ode of eighty-three lines he wrote in 1869, at the age of fourteen, which won first prize in a regional academic competition. The students were given the theme "Jugurtha" and six hours to compose...
Ross Macdonald, the Way Some People Die
Was he "drunk"-or was he "bibulous"?Did he "strike" her-or "beat" her? Anddid they matter, these observationalniceties, in the shadow of her hurtthat seemed to fall on the world in the shape,and with the force, of a clothes ironsmoothing out all lesser...
Ruskin's Rock, Ruskin's Waters
Ceci nest pas une pierre. It's not a rock at all, of course, but a picture of a rock. And despite its stunning detail, it's not a photograph but a drawing-one measuring forty-eight by thirty-three centimeters, rendered in pen and ink and lampblack wash,...
Sailmaker's Palm
My black-haired bride was made of sails.She was a ship; her wedding sails were white.I made her dress with yards of canvas.Winding stitch after stitch, I sewed all night.I was a child to the wind.I listened to it like a father.I put an inwardly spiraled...
Sestina: A Valediction
(i.m. John Hollander, 1929-2013)To the garden of the Texas beauty queen'sRoman villa (ex-Playboy centerfoldand Daughter of the American Revolution)we were summoned one afternoon to plant a cherryon Washingtons Birthday, noble and commonassembled to a...
"Since the Day I Was Kicked by Master Ma, I Have Not Stopped Laughing": Buddhism and Comedy in Philip Whalen
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-USASCII text omitted.)A student on the verge of enlightenment approaches his master with a question; the master smacks the student on the head, or kicks him, until he is enlightened. Of the student s possible reactions, the...
Tagore at the Heart Hospital, Lake Balaton, Hungary
The bearded man on the bench gazes lakeward.Paddleboats colorful as Bengali butterflies churnthe sun-slashed surface to a flickering conversationwith the plane trees on the promenade. Silks shush past,parasols tilt toward each other as women marvelat...
The Painter and the Poet
Joe Brainard. The Collected Writings of foe Brainard. Ed. Ron Padgett. Library of America 2012. 541 pp. $35.00Ron Padgett. Collected Poems. Coffee House Press 2013. 810 pp. $44.00As a label, "New York School" never quite fit. True, the poets that fell...
The Poet Tasters
Mary Ann Caws. The Modem Art Cookbook. Reaktion Books 2013. 300 pp. $39.00Kevin Young, ed. The Hungry Ear. Bloomsbury USA 2012. 336 pp. $ 17.00 (paper)I'm trying to make Allen Ginsberg's borscht, but it just ain't happening. I've got his recipe: "Boil...
The Red Wheelbarrow
As he recalled it,The wheelbarrow in question stood outside the window of an old negro's house on a back street in the suburb where I live. It was pouring rain and there were white chickens walking about in it. The sight impressed me somehow as about...
The Suffering of Animals
The suffering of the lower animals throughout time is more than I can bear -Charles DarwinI cannot bear it, he declared,bearing it even as he spoke,thinking of freshly studied slicesfrom the layer cake of the past,plum-studded with remains of bodiesonce...
To Say You
is to hold another momentarily in the hand,to make of him a code to be gently crackedin the space between a question and an answerwhen the eyes catch, as they must somewherein every conversation. Strether learns thisin The Ambassadors, when he sees the...
To the Critics
Translator's Note: The crowning achievement of Callimachus (c. 305-240 BC) was the Origins, an elegiac poem in four books. Unfortunately, it doesn't survive in a direct manuscript tradition, but only in papyrus finds that are fraught with gaps. In the...
Two Odes by Horace
1.5Pyrrha, now who's the skinny young thing on top of you,drizzled in perfume, rolling on beds of roses laiddeep in some grotto's shade?Who is it for, that blonde hairdoso careful to seem careless? Poor kid! How many tearshe'll shed at the shifting weather,...
We Focus on Love, When It's Death; We Focus on Death, When It's Love; Etc
A third-rate magician still, by definition,serves up magic. This one's shlepping his card trickstable to table around the third-rate nightclub;even the big-nose schmo who's also goingtable to table quietly heckling Galacto the Great,and even the watery...
Women in the Arts
So I resented Stanley [Kubrick] at times because he pushed me. And it hurt. And I resented him for it. I thought, "Why do you want to do this to me? How can you do this to me?" -Shelley Duvall, on filming The ShiningThat gargoyle of a little girlwho...
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