Norman Finkelstein: About William Bronk's Poetry

Confronting the conventional formal strategist (and concomitant aesthetic ideologies) of his time, Bronk chooses to situate his poems precisely in the space between abstract philosophical speculation and the immediacies of lived experience. Bronk's discourse largely consists of language variously challenging not only the assumed generic and epistemological limits of modern poetry, but the occasions of its utterances as well. Even the many Bronk poems which nominally focus upon the discrete, the particular ("My House New-Painted," "The Beautiful Wall, Machu Picchu," "The Tree in the Middle of the Field," etc.), soon pass into a realm of abstraction, which almost miraculously retains the sensuousness of the object-world through the poet's mastery of his linguistic instrument. Thus to a reader accustomed to most recent poetry, Bronk's work may not appear very much like "poetry" at all. But it is just those qualities of the verse which put some readers off--its tremendously compressed but flexible syntax, the radical austerity of its diction, its relentless suspicion of metaphor, its disdain of mere imagery, its seamless sense of measure, and the resolution of its closure--which make other readers sigh in relief and exclaim 'At last!"

From "The Singular Achievement of William Bronk." Sagetrieb 7.3 (Winter 1988): 75-82.

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Criticism Overview
Title Norman Finkelstein: About William Bronk's Poetry Type of Content General Poet Criticism
Criticism Author Norman Finkelstein Criticism Target William Bronk
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 01 Jun 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication No Data
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