By Joseph McElroy
An uninvited visitor, coming into the empty ny house of a guy recognized to intimates as "Dom," proceeds to jot down for his absent host a curious confession. Its shut money owed of friendship because boyhood with males definitely unknown to Dom and positively to one another is interleaved with the tale of Dom himself.
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Additional resources for Ancient History: A Paraphase
McGrath adopts with bravado — guilty, I think — the style of this solidarity, even though it sometimes repels him. The solidarity rests on sentimentality for the western Wobblies and a disciplined acceptance of male brutality. His coarse language is a recurrent reminder that he has made this choice, and that solidarity is costly. Brutality, however, seems to derive from a human need that is neither foreign nor altogether repulsive. " She wanted Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 30 POETRY, POLITICS, AND INTELLECTUALS To enter.
From this point of view, the trouble is that political poets are always "over there" somewhere, writing about the political lives of other countries or of other social groups. This is a convenient and widely held perspective in American letters. 6 POETRY, POLITICS, AND INTELLECTUALS few pages to poetry, and many of these few concentrate on poetry from elsewhere. Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott, for instance, appear regularly in these journals. How convenient to have a Russian emigre and a Caribbean black as the political poets to honor in New York and Washington: one from the old world, one from the new.
And his taste for the cheapest of lyrical effects, such as paired terms of consonance — "gleamed and gloomed"; "the wars and the whores and the wares and the ways" - puts little bells all over the poem. Letter to an Imaginary Friend, by far his greatest achievement, is only intermittently successful on the verbal level, though the imaginative achievement of the Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 POLITICS 33 whole is considerable (which is not as damning as it sounds: it is exactly true of Blake, one of McGrath's masters, as well).