The Sublime Turn of Kenneth Rexroth’s “On What Planet”

20 07 2013


Over at the Samizdat blog, Bob Archambeau offers a perspicacious reading of Kenneth Rexroth’s “On What Planet,” a reading that focuses on the poem’s turns.  It’s a terrific analysis of a terrific poem–check it out here.

There’s a particularly lovely moment when Bob moves to begin discussing the poem’s major turn, and Bob, ready to dive in, says, “There’s so much going on here I hardly know where to start.”   For me, that is (at least) the (initial) power of a great turn–it just bowls you over with its power, its surprise, its radical reconfiguration of everything you’d thought to expect.

A strong critic, Bob, of course, rallies and goes on to say some very smart things about how the turn works in the poem, and what the turn means, especially when considered in the contexts of Romanticism and the sublime.

If you like Bob’s take on Rexroth’s “On What Planet,” be sure to check out his reading of the turns in John Matthias’s “Friendship” over at Voltage Poetry–check it out here.

The Turns of The Foundling Wheel

11 07 2013


In a recent review, Laurie Clements Lambeth notes the significant role of the turn in Blas Falconer’s The Foundling Wheel.  She states:

“The Foundling Wheel takes its title from a ninth century rotating platform installed in a hospital wall by order of the pope after too many drowned babies had turned up in fishing nets. A mother could instead deposit her unwanted infant on the platform, and the wheel would rotate into the hospital. Much of the book itself is generated by rotation—turns, juxtapositions within poems and also turns of perspective, fused with comprehensive, multivalent insights.”

It’s a terrific review, and clear signpost for anyone interested in reading more excellent, risky, leaping and turning poetry–read it, and then check out The Foundling Wheel.