Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Follow BestAmPo on Twitter

« Happy St. Patrick's Day (by Laura Orem) | Main | Erin Go Braghless »

March 17, 2010


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Nicholson Baker's "The Anthologist" [by Amy Lawless]:


Hi Amy. I enjoyed Baker's book thoroughly. What do you think of his (or Chowder's) conviction that Pound ruined poetry, enjambment is bunk, and rhyme is a precious skill that poets would be foolish to discard?

Well I think the bit about Pound was fascinating. I wouldn't have to disagree about Pound ruining poetry. I think he improved a lot of peoples' poems.... But the controversy is exciting.

We know enjambment isn't bunk. It allows for multiple interpretations of the line, and therefore allows the reader to think ever critically. It's fun to hear disparate opinions though.

Rhyming is a precious skill. I wish it weren't looked down upon so!

Dear Amy: I agree with your take on The Anthologist. It was great fun to read. But, as you note, it is so much a discussion of poetry that I do wonder if non-poets would be as turned on by it. The narrator's high estimation of James Fenton, whose work I confess I had never read, inspired me to order his Selected Poems. I don't have a problem with rhyme, but I have to say that I didn't wind up sharing Paul Chowder's enthusiasm for Fenton's poems, except for "Tiananmen," "Gabriel" and a few others.

Speaking from the non-poet/poetry ignoramus point of view (incidentally the only one from which I can speak), I think this book is a really accessible (and enjoyable) intro to modern poetry. It did get a little "inside baseball" at times but even that mostly underlined his enthusiasm. I won't say I was never confused, and probably didn't get a pile of in-jokes, but I liked it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Follow BestAmPo on Twitter


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Shop Indie Bookstores

This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



A creative communications, branding, and resources consultancy founded by Victoria C. Rowan


Reach a Wide International Audience

Advertise on the Best American Poetry Blog