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Peter Everwine Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 9.03.13

“‘If you don’t stir your soul with a stick every day, you’ll freeze solid.’ Rutger Kopland, the Dutch poet, uses this sentence from Gerrit Krol as an epigraph to one of his books. I often read poems as my chosen stick in preparing to write: usually poems from earlier generations, or poems in translation or from other languages and historical periods. I want quiet voices and the perspective of distance, avoiding the flash-bang of current poetics and contending fashions. I open the books of poets I love and honor: the Tang poets; the Spaniards Machado and Jimenez; Italy’s Sinisgalli and Pavese; Rolf Jacobsen; yes, Kopland and so many others who have written with such hard-won clarity and intimate simplicity. It’s a stick I need. Not a wand. Not a divining rod. Not a baton. Not a tool for whipping. A simple unadorned stick; one can be found almost anywhere, even underfoot.”
—Peter Everwine, author of Listening Long and Late (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013)

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