The Poetry of Democracy

. In my Poetic License column for the fall issue of West, I return to last year’s New York Review of Books contretemps between Helen Vendler and Rita Dove over the latter’s The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. When I first wrote about the dispute, I considered the the politics in poetry. In “Diction and […]

The Open Mind V: the Language of Black and White

Ah, siddown. Holster your resentments. I’m not talking about that black and white. I’m referring to the fallacy. (Murmer, murmer, grumble, murmer.) Sometimes labeled, parthenogenetically, the fallacy of bifurcation, more commonly known as the either/or fallacy, this form of thinking also sports the “black and white fallacy” moniker. You get the idea. There are only […]