Mark Desrosiers's Reviews > Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003

Inner Voices by Richard Howard
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Jan 26, 08

bookshelves: poetry
Recommended for: Fans of Robert Browning. And David Markson.
Read in January, 2008

OK Richard: I love Robert Browning too. But the last thing the world needs is a late-modernist Browning imitator who's still stuck in the nineteenth century. I mean, who's going to read a relentlessly highbrow poem entitled "Venetian Interior, 1889" (which features Browning and son lounging among Japanois furnishings, someone fetch the ipecac)? On the other hand, "Victor Hugo: The Deathbed Portrait" is a stunner (closing lines: "there is only / one pleasure -- that of being / alive. All the others are a misery.") As is "Oracles", an eloquent ramble through the wisdom, artsy trivia, and experience of an elderly Greek woman: I wonder whether David Markson may have absorbed that one before essaying his late-period novels?

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Jeff Laughlin I knew David. And yes, he read Richard Howard. Can't speak directly to that specific line/poem, but thought I drop that idea in your head.


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