Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"La mélodie de la phrase . . . "

Not a review. Just some kind words from eminent scholar, critic and poet, Eric Ormsby, on Glad and Sorry Seasons, who has given me his permission to share a recent email.

It is an exceptionally beautiful collection, even more impressive in print than in typescript. You have such a graceful mastery of forms but, even better, you also have something to say, something valuable! I am enjoying every poem; I am especially delighting in your satiric vein which is uncomfortably sharp but without being cruel. The 'mélodie de la phrase' is unfailingly exquisite. I always respond immediately to the music of a poem, before anything else, and yours is delicate and wonderfully well modulated. This is a book that I shall long cherish.

I do have one very small quibble. On the back of the book you are described--or describe yourself?--as a 'formalist'. Of course, you are that but I find the designation somewhat limiting for your gifts. It has a coterie tinge. You are in fact simply an exceptional poet and that tag seems superfluous, a bit too programmatic for my taste. But this is a minor point.

Thank you, Eric!

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