“More than lack of ambition,” James Longenbach remarks, it is “the inability to surrender to our characteristic callings and rhythms that keeps us from fulfilling our promise.” But what does this surrender look like? Longenbach explores one of its forms by looking at poems that strategically restrain their diction; this restraint, he argues, as it comes of the writer’s submission to what is truest in herself, suggests something unsaid beyond itself. For examples, he draws on work by Pound, Yeats, Blake, Marvell and Oppen.
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