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« In Praise of the Late John Tranter [by Thomas Moody] | Main | Musical Plagiarism Then and Now [by Lewis Saul] »

April 23, 2023


So cool. I love it.

Wonderful! Tony is one of my favourite poets. My best wishes to him, as always. Hang in there, Tony.


Who else could write

so that I am still in a forest,

but the traditional kind,

not one made of cement and glass,

but composed primarily of wood

and auxiliary vegetal matter,

aerated with avian sonorities,

and partly veiled by more “air products”:

innocuous mist or fog —

for there is such a generous

spacing between predators

Not to mention the rest of this delightfully undulating poem. I have to admit I am biased....I have loved and admired his poems and his sly wit for longer than I care to remember.

Bravo, marchons

As Terence says, Tony Towle really is incomparable--totally original, intelligent, uncanny in the way this poem travels so widely while still staying right on a great beam of light. It's my first look at anything he's written and I'll certainly start this week by looking for more. Fabulous pick, colossal poem!

I've never been more delighted having my senses rearranged. Love it.

This poem is fantastic! Love, love love it! Thanks Tony for writing it and Terence for bringing it to us!

The Tao of Towle is impressive here. We are ALL in progress--or should be. Then again, regress is a tough adversary. Towle makes this poem as adventurous as it is self-questioning. Perhaps Ron Padgett said it best: “Tony Towle went beyond writing the kind of poem that is fixed in place, like a butterfly specimen, which might be beautiful but certainly is dead. Towle’s poems are beautiful too, not because they form decorous displays, but because they are alive with intelligence, urbanity, and multiple voices and views, alive the way the real world is alive anytime we are brave or naïve enough to open up and let it be as astonishing as it is.” Thanks, Terence, for using your unerring critical trowel to unearth for us this evergreen poem by Towle.

Kudos also for including the baseball card showing pitcher Phil Niekro. He threw knuckleballs, something like Tony Towle. What a complete treat!

Thank you for bringing us this. “The stare that italicized my blunder” !! One pleasant surprise after another — lurking intricacies — a complete success.

Quintessential Towle: wry humor, linguistic brilliance, playfully seriousness. Whenever I need a poetic recharge, I pick one of Tony's many books off my shelf .

Don: Thanks for the comment.

Thank you for the comment, Wanda.

Thanks, Earle, for your comment (& for Ron's!).

Wonderful poem. I love it!

How does Tony manage to get all the outrageous leaps into a perfectly clear narrative, and to establish a perfect tone for the risky diction? It’s because he’s doing what he does so well. Nice work.Terrific poem.

This Tony Towle poem goes so many wonderful places, tour through consciousness, riveting all the way, completely original. So glad you featured it.

bedazzling, yet restrained, exquisitely so

One of my favorite poets—- from the forest to Forbes to the evening news—- love this. Gillian mccain

Tony is always at the top of his game. Great choice, Terence. Terrific photo of the author as well.

Thanks for the comment, Vincent.

Dad's graduated to relatively unknown national treasure-hood. So it is with artists - gone today celebrated tomorrow ...

So wonderful to read this amazing poem by one of my favorite living poets! Tony Towle has a magical way of turning every poem into an occasion for wit, free association, humanity, and historical reportage.

Many thanks, Terence and Tony. Really magical.

Tony has a knack for taking us around the world in a warp of time with a palette of spectral color that is unimaginable without ever having left the room. Brilliant and magnificent.

When you sign up for a Tony Towle Tour he may take you away into the forest, thru the mist or fog, past Paleolithic relatives, Phil Niekro’s retirement, the Gulf of Aden, and into a shoe store – if you’re lucky.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


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


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