The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review is a magazine focusing on current and historical literary subjects. Since it was founded in 1925, it is produced quarterly. The magazine is published by the Virginia Quarterly Review.Subjects for The Virginia Quarterly Review include literature and literary reviews. The editor is Ted Genoways. Contributing editors are Molly Minturn and Kevin Morrissey

Articles from Vol. 88, No. 2, Spring

American Poetry: An Allegory
1.If you approach along one of the usual paths, you'll notice what at first appear to be tumbled walls, broken chimneys, and a series of ruined fortresses or perhaps religious buildings. These are, in fact, the fossilized remains of the previous inhabitants...
American Poetry and Poetry Criticism Now
In his recent poem, "Introspective Voyager," lames Longenbach depicts an aging poetry scholar, the speakers mentor:He smoked in a way that seemed old-fashioned, from the fifties.He remembered that, as a boy, he stood beside a closed door listeningTo...
Blazing Saddles
MeI Brooks, 1975What's so funny about racismis how the racists never get the joke.In most settings, racists stick outlike Count Basie's Orchestra in the middleof a prairie, but they're as awkward as he iselegant compared to the world around him.And,...
Dead and Divine, and Brother of All
WALT WHITMAN IN WASHINGTONOn Tuesday, December 16, the New York Herald printed a list of soldiers killed or wounded at Fredericksburg, including an entry for "First Lieutenant G. W. Whitmore, Company D," of the 51st New York Infantry. It was mid-morning...
Dreams of Poetry
My initiation into contemporary poetry began my freshman year in high school. My family had recently moved to Nebraska - where both of my parents were born and raised and where we had generations of family connections. But the landscape was mostly foreign...
Economics
The bloated street, fat with crowds and voices,young faces gleaming under rain and street lights,slumping lumps of bodies under ponchos; and the humanmicrophone: call and response, a kind of tribal summons,but weird, like ghost chants among stone tombswhere...
Eggheads
In the fifties people who were smartAnd looked smart were called eggheads.Adlai Stevenson, who was bald and went to Princeton,Was the quintessential egghead, and so he lostTo Dwight Eisenhower, the president of Columbia.Dave Brubeck was an egghead, with...
Elizabeth Bishop at Summer Camp
"I have never been homesick but just at present I feel awfly campsick," wrote Elizabeth Bishop, the summer she was fourteen. She had just finished a month at the sailing camp on Cape Cod where she spent her teenage summers, a camp where she found respite...
Five Odes on Absence
(ProQuest: ... denotes "strike-through" in the original text omitted.)1.Drst, he starts, M nrl wrn t. . .And if purple's the new black as Vogue says(according to their latest ad-by-tweet,it s the seasons thing), perhaps erasure'sour poetry du jour. At...
For Apollinaire
The river goes under the Pont Mirabeau . . .The green trysting trees in July breeze,the tourists and their summer hats, the soldessigns in every plate-glass window. The rivergoes under the Pont Mirabeau. I wantedto make you feel the heat of the sun,...
From the Vqr Vault: Poetry
The silver point of an evening stardropping toward the hammock of new moonover Lake Okoboji, over prairie waters in Iowait was framed in the lights just after twilight.-Carl Sandburg, from "Silver Point," Summer 1928Children's voices in the orchardBetween...
Has Poetry Changed?: The View from the Editor's Desk
Hope springs eternal, especially for aspiring poets. They want their voices to be heard; they want to appear in print as well as to write their poems. One wonders: who will listen, who will read? Interesting questions.Some years ago Helen Vendler said...
I Am Here like an Old Hulk Driven Up on the Sand
A NEWLY DISCOVERED LETTER BY WALT WHITMANOn the morning of April 15, 1887, George Cox took several photographs of poet Walt Whitman, in commemoration of the success of his New York lecture on Abraham Lincoln, delivered the day before. Jeannette Gilder,...
Ideation X
(1)I'd give a fuck about the world outsideIf Tennessee and its AmericanHolly swallowed me whole;(II)if Thuja GreenGiants would grow to armies, thick in toothedStinging nettle;(III)if banjoes reigned, string pluckedBy plectrum;(IV)if the sky at Greens'...
Listen
for KeithWhenever I fear myself a boreI think of listening. I should,I tell myself, do it more.I know a man who can givemore attention to his mealthan a room, yet still listen.He looks suspiciously like Ruskin.He does not boast. Yet if he recollectsan...
Love & Terror
I love you so much my terror has left me.I love you so much, my terror has put on its coat and paces the sidewalk,hands in its pockets, breath clouding the air before its face.I love you so much, I could offer it a scarf, I could bring it a drink,I could...
M/d
Because we've seen the power in even a single atomunchained from its own infrastructural hold,and know what happens when a mass- the famous"critical mass"- of atoms are simultaneously unformed(the woe of Nagasaki is unendurable bothon the level of thousands...
My H.D
The anonymous collective wisdom of Wikipedia will tell you that H.D. is "an American poet, novelist and memoirist known for her association with the early 20th century avant-garde Imagist group of poets such as Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington." She...
Observances
David Caplan at Tiferes BachurimThese remarkable poems blend spiritual unease with religious confidence, an investigator's fascinated spirit with a sense that the poet has almost - but not quite - come home. David Caplan reacts to what he saw, to what...
Our Long War
If we are at war let the orchards show it,let the pear and fig fall prior to their time,let the radios dieand the hounds freeze over their meat.Let the balconies crack their planked backs as we recline,let the streets of stock and trade split open,let...
R.I.P
Not forced to fall for hideous Phaonnor to drift dreamlike from aVictorian cliff, pursued by visionsof slender limbs, peach-soft hairdewy violets clustered in an unwillinglap, not exiled on a distant islandfor writing smartly about lovenot called amoral...
Self-Portrait on YouTube
His reasoning was specious, and did much to reassure me.-P.G. WodehouseLike a casement opening out upon a worldHe chooses not to see, the prisoner of a point of viewRemains complacent in that choice, until a slightAlteration of perspective, a trick of...
Some Day My Prince Will Come
I.Angel, I'm drilling an edge of the island for oil,fed your smashed piñata Tylenol, left it buckledin the passenger seat. At the snap of my fingers,your eyes will open, but you will recall nothing.Angel, you turned your key, but your own lockno longer...
Song of Sanity
He was a poet of hope and encouragement, but his greatest poem is bleak at heart, ripped bloody, and shredded with despair. He was our verbal cheerleader, our avid egoist as well as our most enthusiastic inclusionist:O to make the most jubilant song!Full...
The Art of Rhymed Insult
In 1991, Elvis Mitchell, National Public Radios Weekend entertainment reporter, interviewed Spike Lee for Playboy magazine. "Lee," Mitchell informed his readers, "has made my life miserable for the past couple of months":[Ijnvariably, in phone-tag intramurals...
The Lazarus Collector
It wasn't until I went to the leper colony to buy their coinsthat anyone knew about the poem carved in the tree.Each minted dime in my country touches hundredsof piggy banks, collection plates, lemonade stands in summer.Every bill replaces a lost tooth,...
The Self in the Poem
Through you I shall be born again; myself again and again; myself without others; myself with a tomb; myself beyond death. I imagine you taking my name; I imagine you saying "myself myself " again and again. And suddenly there will be no blue sky or...
These Underwatered
If even thumbnails bear me messagesyour blood is borrowed but the bruises yours to keepthen where am I, and who? Was my disappearancereported to the authorities before I learned of itmyself? I could know I have gone missingonly by report, but where would...
The State of the Art
The year is 1712, and the state of the art of American poetry is, in a word, provincial. The best-known and best-selling American poem remains Michael Wigglesworth s The Day of Doom: A Poetical Description of the Great and Last Judgment, written some...
The Subjective Briar Patch: Contemporary American Poetry
"As a writer reading, I came to realize the obvious: the subject of the dream is the dreamer." - Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary ImaginationSit in any poetry workshop in any Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program,...
This Body a Sea
She wrote what she wrote. Her digging dug her outof Dark down here and hard to breathe into Bright enoughto turn my stomach, gotta squint, can't tell where I am.Can't tell what season this is supposed to be, can't guesswhat sort of storm is likely, what...
Two Worlds Exist
1.If I wear an ice suit, I can fly beneath the sunsetand not burn, my son saidfrom the back of the van, as we drove over the bridgebeneath the pink sky.And if I wear an ice suit, I thought,perhaps I will finish my days without roastingin the oven of...
We Are Monica (Acrostic)
-Monica LewinskyWhat if it were true? That in theEnd, no matter what dress we look for,All we have in our closets are blue ones?Remember the surface area of the body?Each one inch square can be bruised blue.Maybe we know how to betray cloth, itsOld downy...
Whitman in Baghdad
"I was going to hold forth on arms, and the violence of warfare, in a meter suited to the manner," wrote the Roman poet Ovid at the outset of his Amores, "but Cupid, laughing," he continued, "stole one foot from the second line," shifting the meter out...
Whitman's Compost
The day Abraham Lincoln was first elected president, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) arrived in Washington, DC, to find, in the words of a British reporter, a "strange city, whose streets of ill-built houses connect to the most noble public...
You Stood beneath a Streetlight Waving Goodbye
You stood beneath a streetlight waving goodbyethe night we dropped you off in the cityfor our daughter's appointmentwith one of the country's top surgeons.And as we drove away, the other children and Iwaived back at you,until, because of the angle and...