Devon, PA. Mark A. Signorelli’s superb essay, “Poetry and the Common Language,” appeared on FPR last month, and made to my mind a fine addition to helping us contemplate the relation of art and nature; like prayer and creed, these two are naturally intermingled and so, to think about craft and art is also to take a step toward considering one’s whole way of life.
Last year, I published an essay on contemporary poet and scholar of prosody Timothy Steele in American Arts Quarterly. In “The Remarkable Unremarkable Meter of Timothy Steele,” I begin the project of explaining, first, how Steele has made sense of meter and versification as very few of its public explainers have (verse is one of those great human activities for which the theory has almost always been inadequate as a description of the practice; but Steele has changed all that, and not a moment too soon, given how close to extinction the understanding of prosody has become). Second, I suggest how Steele’s grasp of versification gestures toward a larger, wholistic understanding of human life that eschews the dualisms and Manichisms of much modern culture — including the Romantic and Modernist literary traditions.
The Raintown Review recently asked to republish the Steele essay on line. You may find it here. Further, you should, if only to read Steele’s great poem, “Sapphics against Anger.”