Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 Contemporary American PoetryJuly 1, 1982 |


The marble stumps, the plundered archeology of games— the foot race, the hippodrome, the chariot on the racetrack; the fox-and-geese-track in the schoolyard snow; the footprints of the weasel and the fleeing fieldmouse, the quick pickpocket, dexterity of hand embellishing the margins of disorder; Harpo Marx's scamp-as-saint, a voiceless kosher Mozart; the katydid-faced TV hockey goalie, who never heard of Mozart, all vicious equanimity on ice: what's to enjoy but games? Baseball, weekend football orgies, a day off at the racetrack, that spin-off of the heavy Greeks' reverberating footprints. (What culture, pre- or post-gunpowder, spawned the pickpocket?) Games, the last prop as stunned civility trips into disorder: Berlin in '36, then Buchenwald's drill sergeants of disorder. And what's to be done, then, with the equanimity of Mozart? Mandelstam and friends converting into chanting-games the wording of a ration card, before the bureaucratic racetrack ran him down: his widow gath

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In 1983, at the age of sixty-three, Amy Clampitt published her first full-length collection, The Kingfisher (Alfred A. Knopf). In the decade that followed, Clampitt published five books of poetry, including What the Light Was Like (Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), Archaic Figure (Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), and Westward (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990). Her last book, A Silence Opens (Alfred A. Knopf), appeared in 1994. The recipient in 1982 of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1984 of an Academy Fellowship, she was made a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1992.

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