—Gerald Stern, Poetry, July 1979Jenny Browne takes a close look at the poem: “Need” is the only verb we get twice.  I can see the greater timelessness of the cosmos, Stern concedes, but—and here the poem takes a final deep breath, gathering air into its lungs, calling up the big poetic O, and rising into singing—“O philosophical mind, O mind of paper.”  I need both.  I need whatever can prevent the giant and mindless machines of the modern world from smashing my skull. 

—Gerald Stern, Poetry, July 1979

Jenny Browne takes a close look at the poem:

“Need” is the only verb we get twice.  I can see the greater timelessness of the cosmos, Stern concedes, but—and here the poem takes a final deep breath, gathering air into its lungs, calling up the big poetic O, and rising into singing—“O philosophical mind, O mind of paper.”  I need both.  I need whatever can prevent the giant and mindless machines of the modern world from smashing my skull. 

1 year ago

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