Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Master of brevity …

… Taken by Storm | Commonweal Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Not all Menashe’s poems were epigram-short. Yet to come upon a longer one (“On the leafless winter vine,” for example) is to find an anomaly. Menashe did not want to narrate, to construct a slow build, to set scenes; he had little patience for the kind of common talk, the low-intensity speech, that in longer poems provides frames for the gems, backgrounds so that figures stand out. Instead, his poems were all figure, sometimes even all holiness, or all regret for holiness denied; he took each moment within a poem as potentially a holy one, the only one.

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