Clampdown recalls the Yeats of Responsibilities (1914) in several ways: its evocations of the companions of the poet’s apprentice years (Yeats’s “The Grey Rock” Moxley’s “Clampdown”), its reflections on childlessness (Yeats’s “Pardon, old fathers,” Moxley’s “Mother’s Day”), its ambivalence about fame and recognitions (Yeats’s “While I from that reed-throated whisperer,” Moxley’s “Our Defiant Motives” and “The Quest”), its political engagement, its utterly persuasive marriage of traditional form to modern idiom. Responsibilities opened Yeats’s great mature phase; there is no knowing, of course, whether Moxley is on just such a threshold, and in any case such idle predictions are exactly the sort of poetry-as-horserace thinking that much of Clampdown condemns. If she keeps writing books this good, however, she is probably going to have to deal with honor and recognition, whether she likes it or not.
Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page
For anyone in New York this holiday season, we highly recommend Brian Calvin’s new show of paintings, “Head.” It will be up at Anton Kern Gallery (532 West 20th Street) from December 10 through January 16. More information can be found here. Brian has a long friendship with Flood Editions, and his paintings have appeared on the covers of A Mouth in California and Necessary Stranger, both by Graham Foust.