Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Wrigley

By Robert Wrigley

A robust new assortment from an award-winning poet Robert Wrigley has turn into considered one of his generation's such a lot finished poets, popular for his irony, energy, and lucid variety and for his skill to fuse narrative and lyrical impulses. Like its namesake—Robert Burton's seventeenth-century exam of human recommendations and emotions—Wrigley's new assortment potential to check our international in the course of the lens of melancholia. From imagined struggle memorials to insomniac chickens; from Descartes' misplaced daughter to a dreaming tree; from King Kong to hurry Limbaugh; and from Anna Karenina to a guy named Lucy Doolin (short for Lucifer), those are poems that elegize and have fun that the majority attractive, exasperating, joyous, depressing, and completely imperfect of all creatures—the man or woman.

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Frank Bidart and David Gewanter (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), in the winter 2004 Parnassus. S. Eliot suffered in the mid-1970’s (Perloff’s daughter Carey and I had an impassioned argument about this subject in Helena Foley’s ancient Greek class at Stanford in the winter of 1977, which as I recall resulted in our temporary ejection from the class). Perloff also clearly CHAPTER ONE 2 3 4 29 identifies Lord Weary’s Castle as Lowell’s second book; I hope my case for its place as his true first book comes through clearly here.

The project itself seems fundamentally eccentric: is it not strange that land should lie in water? And are the ledges merely one appropriate way of understanding the transformation in color? These questions inevitably coalesce into the question of what, exactly, the map is representing. Paradoxically, the map cannot answer these questions. By the second stanza, however, the poem has dramatically evolved into an evocation of map as map, and the world recedes to allegory and analogy. The map, it turns out, is either under a glass or being examined under a magnifying glass; either way, it evokes tactile desire.

Even when examined closely, the monument itself is difficult to make out, and Bishop’s description is ingeniously complex, complicating an already-difficult scene. We are introduced to a “monument,” which is built of wood in a fashion vaguely resembling a ziggurat, but with each of the stages turned 45 degrees. It appears to be at some distance from the narrator and the person to whom she is speaking. ” Nevertheless, slowly and ingeniously, the monument begins to work its magic on the narrator.

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