The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"Bei Dao turned seventy on the second of this month. Did the Chinese-American poet in Hong Kong and his friends celebrate the event? Could he — or they — have done so? Would this poet of quiet reflection and un-quiet expression have got himself to mark anything, even something as special as his seventieth birthday, in the conditions that now prevail there?" Gopalkrishna Gandhi • Telegraph India

"When I asked W.H. Auden what he would like to hear Armstrong say, he replied at first with a mischievous chuckle: “I’ve never done this before!” adding, “What else should he say? It would be a true statement.” But when I went on to ask if he would not prefer something more elevating, perhaps about world peace, he grew sober. “Well, that’s a little different,” Auden said. “We all know that the chief reason for their going there is military, so I don’t think you should ask them to say much about that!”" Edward Mendelson • NYRB

"Given poetry’s marginal (at best) status in our culture, it’s not surprising that the contemporary poetry world doesn’t acknowledge the existence of comic poetry, since it could threaten whatever remains of poetry’s reputation as a ‘serious’ art. Current poetry shows little interest in being funny: it mostly alternates between cataloguing the uninteresting ephemera of the poet’s daily life and a humourless performance of virtue, in which poets express ideas in fashion among the faction of other poets who make up essentially one hundred per cent of their audience, and in return are told how ‘radical’ they are for boldly reciting opinions that everyone in the room already agrees with. (One is reminded of Tom Lehrer’s comment on the folk scene: ‘It takes a certain amount of courage to get up in a coffee house or a college auditorium and come out in favour of the things that everyone in the audience is against, like peace and justice and brotherhood and so on.’)" Brooke Clark • The Literateur

"[Lola] Ridge was born in 1873 and grew up at the tail end of the Victorian era, with its corsets and curved-heel boots, courting chairs and fan-shaped dance cards, but she wrote and published in the first half of the twentieth century, with WWI, the Great Depression, women’s suffrage, working-class movements, union worker strikes, the Russian Revolution, gender and race discrimination, race riots and antisemitism clanging up against each other, making themselves known." Jena Schmitt • PN Review

New poems

Luis de Gongora Asymptote

Dana Gioia The American Scholar

Marilyn Hacker New England Review

Lisa Kelly Wild Court

Ciaran Carson New Yorker


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The Page is edited by John McAuliffe, Vincenz Serrano and, since September 2013, Evan Jones at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. It was founded in October 2004 by Andrew Johnston, who edited it until October 2009.
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