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The Sewanee Review - Fall 2006

It’s fitting that the journal whose health T.S. Eliot once lauded as an indicator of the world of periodicals should publish such an issue. The Sewanee Review’s issue comes subtitled “A Salute to British and American Poetry.” The opening pages are a list of books reviewed, including Wendell Berry’s Given, W.D. Snodgrass’s Not for the Specialists: New and Selected Poems, and the much lauded Adam Kirsch volume, The Wounded Surgeon. There’s a menagerie of material here. Two fiction pieces, several poems, among which Jay Rogoff’s “Death’s Theater” stands out with lines like, “It’s not all tragedy…” and “He’ll undertake conning supporting roles, / rebuild the sets, rewrite your lines…” All four of Rogoff’s poems are death-enthralled. “Weldon’s Song,” a masterpiece of scholarly fiction by Baron Wormser, ties a biography of an imaginary poet together with lines from Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott.” The effect is epic and haunting. But the masterpieces of this issue are the essays and reviews in the latter half, “Arts and Letters” section. Jeffrey Hart does an incredible job of tying together T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost’s interlinked “championship” of modernism. “Harold Pinter and the Nobel Prize” by Gerald Weales is a closer inspection of the political considerations behind the award. A. Bannerjee goes in search of “The Ever-Elusive D.H. Lawrence” while David C. Ward reminisces over “Something Like Nothing: Larking Again.” The essay begins with the sentence, “Philip Larkin’s life had no plot.” Interesting is a euphemism. []
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Review Posted on July 30, 2014

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