In the introduction to his poems, George Chapman wrote: ‘it serves not a skilful painter’s turn, to draw the figure of a face only to make known who it represents; but he must limn it, give lustre, shadow and heightening; which though ignorants will esteem spiced, and too curious, yet such as have the judicial perspective, will see it hath motion, spirit and life,’ and it serves well as an introduction to the work of the American poet Anthony Hecht, whose fourth volume The Venetian Vespers places him firmly in the forefront of contemporary poetry. With a vocabulary as rich and strange as Hart Crane’s, and an imaginationion and intelligence well beyond the scope of that writer, he has produced a narrative poem of thirty pages (the title-work of this volume) which is virtually unique among contemporary long poems, in that at it never sags or diffuses into ponderous rumination, but consistently impels the reader forward with a force that is part rhetorical, and part the urgency of a man who has found, in his response to Venice, access to the thing that affects him most vitally; a sense of the world as at once grotesque and beautiful.
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Happy #IndexDay! "Reading in reverse" is about as perfect a description of using an index as we've come across. (We've been #indexing from home this week, and the total immersion in a book's themes and schemes is oddly soothing. Categorical love to indexers everywhere 📚) https://twitter.com/Lit_Review/status/1244897571161755649
Wishing you all a very happy National Indexing Day! To celebrate, have a read of this piece by Stuart Hannabus on the joy of indexes, and the fun of reading in reverse. #indexday
'There can’t be many histories of London that have given room, for instance, to the Koreans of New Malden or the Bombay Emporium of Mayfair in the 1930s.'
Jerry White on @profpanayi's 'Migrant City'.