though it made her life a moral drama, did not leave her life in moral confusion. It impoverished her in one respect, however: of all great poets, she is the most lacking in taste; there are innumerable beautiful lines and passages wasted in the desert of her crudities; her defects, more than those of any other great poet that I have read, are constantly at the brink, or pushing beyond the brink, of her best poems. This stylistic character is the natural product of the New England which produced the barren little meeting houses; of the New England founded by the harsh and intrepid pioneers, who in order to attain salvation trampled brutally through a world which they were too proud and too impatient to understand. In this respect, she differs from Melville, whose taste was rich and cultivated. But except by Melville, she is surpassed by no writer that this country has produced; she is one of the greatest lyric poets of all time. —Ivor Winters, “Emily Dickinson and the Limits of Judgment,” In Defense ofReason, Yvor Winters (Alan Swallow,1947). I’M NOT AT ALL INTERESTED IN TALKING ABOUT METHOD. You might say it’s a stage secret . That’s what the poet thrives on. The figures of speech he makes are original to him and distinguish him as a poet of some originality. It all comes down to the figures of speech, how original they are. —Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “The Art of Poetry, No. 104,” interview with Garrett Caples, in The Paris Review, Spring 2019. IN A CLASS LECTURE ON [MATTHEW] ARNOLD, [Robert] Lowell once said that “Dover Beach” had been criticized, “in the old days of the New Critics,” for not continuing the sea imagery in the last stanza; “But I think by then,” Lowell went on, “you’ve had quite enough of it.” —Quoted from Part ofNature, Part ofUs, Modern American Poets, Helen Vendler (Harvard University Press, 1980). I HAVE TO BE HONEST AND SAY UPFRONT THAT music is obviously better than poetry, and nothing gives me the shits more than people trying to combine the two. I can’t think of Page 16 - Nine Mile Magazine

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