Spring 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1995 |

Books of Revelation

Like Most Revelations: New Poems by Richard Howard. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994. A Cornelia and Michael Bessie Book. 112 pages. $20.00. The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood by Andrew Hudgins. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. 97 pages. $18.95. Poets rarely admit that the confessional self that has dominated American poetry since the 1950s is as much a poetic construct as the speaker of any monologue or the narrator of any tale. We prize that suffering, shameful, neurotic, revelatory self as a purveyor of Truth, without any real reason to accept the disclosures—the drinking, drugs, deaths, divorces—as genuine emotional investments. We assume the pain is genuine and forget, reading Lowell or Ginsberg or Plath, that even when their sources lie in autobiography, lyric poets must imagine—or reimagine—these truths as fully as Browning imagines Fra Lippo Lippi, and that such poets' brilliance lies in their creation of the illusion of felt life. Lying down in th

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Credentials

By Jay Rogoff

Like Most Revelations: New Poems by Richard Howard. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994. A Cornelia and Michael Bessie Book. 112 pages. $20.00. The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood by Andrew […]

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