Category: Poetry

In the Seaworld auditorium, waiting for the evening Shamu show. In the Seaworld auditorium, waiting for the evening Shamu show, watching the wide-screen video. It shows soldiers and firemen, then August Busch III, or maybe IV, representing Anheuser-Busch, the corporate parent. He tells us to honor our heroes, which we do, with applause. A whale […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 11, 2007 @ 3:09 PM | Navel-Gazing,Poetry

Pickup on South Street Richard Widmark sneers. Thelma Ritter finks, sells ties. Audience nods off. Rancho Notorious Alas for Fritz Lang, direction translates poorly from the German. Thieves Like Us Is it possible? An Altman fanboy favorite that can be sat through? Cries and Whispers The TV is clear of dust where the red envelope […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted July 24, 2007 @ 6:07 PM | Movies,Poetry

Our Girl in Chicago, Laura Demanski, has roused me from my torpor by asking for an interpretation of Philip Larkin’s Spring. She might want to quote the whole sonnet instead of its last six lines. Fourteen consecutive lines of verse will probably not tax most readers unduly. Larkin was an accomplished and rigorous editor of […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted February 20, 2007 @ 6:03 PM | Poetry

The In-Laws Am I old, or is yelling “Serpentine!” not as funny as before? About Schmidt Midwestern schlemiels do not sit behind the bench at Laker games. Das Boot The TV is clear of dust where the red envelope has lain three weeks. Good Morning, Night What was I thinking? What the fuck was I […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted October 26, 2006 @ 5:01 PM | Movies,Poetry

Discoveries of unpublished poems by famous poets depress me. We already suffer from an enormous glut of poetry — even, perhaps especially, by famous poets — and of art of all sorts. A law that required artists to burn half of their finished product, the way Gogol burned the second half of Dead Souls, would […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted October 24, 2006 @ 7:48 PM | Poetry

Idly browsing in the bookstore one day, I found this, carefully wrapped in onionskin and folded into an old edition of Hardy’s Collected Poems. The road to ignorance may be paved with good editions, as Bernard Shaw remarked, but its byways are littered with interesting ephemera. Dear Mr. Smyth, The assignment is all of the […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 14, 2006 @ 5:20 PM | Literature,Poetry

The idea that aesthetics has a lot to do with self-similarity occurred to Benoit Mandelbrot thirty or so years before it occured to me, although if you ask Mandelbrot there are vanishingly few ideas that didn’t occur to him first. It’s Newton, Einstein, Archimedes, and Mandelbrot, not necessarily in that order. So it isn’t original, […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 12, 2006 @ 2:32 AM | Poetry

Camille Paglia very likely agrees with Woody Allen that 80% of life is showing up. Author, teacher, scholar, advice columnist, courageous defier of contemporary orthodoxies left and right, tireless propagandist for the rapist within, and so much more, Paglia doesn’t just show up, she never goes away. As for the nature of this prodigious output, […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 20, 2005 @ 5:28 PM | Poetry

You will recall from Part 1 that I owned a typescript of two unpublished poems by Yvor Winters and referred to my readers the question of what to do with them. Arguments were offered for selling, publishing, and burning. The arsonists had much the worst of it. Their best point was mine: that publishing them […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted July 14, 2005 @ 4:14 PM | Poetry

Fifteen years ago I walked into the Phoenix, a poetry bookshop on Jones Street that no longer exists, and asked what they had by Yvor Winters. The proprietor went to the back and returned with several items from the library of Glenway Wescott (1901-1987), a distinguished novelist and a friend and contemporary of Winters. I […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted June 25, 2005 @ 7:40 PM | Poetry