Rodney's Reviews > Four Lectures

Four Lectures by Stephen Rodefer
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Feb 23, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry
Read in January, 2009

LONG FORM: I admire Rodefer’s writing as much as the next poet of my age, place, and proximity to Language, plus I knew him a little at Cambridge the year he arrived. Some of Rodefer’s earlier work in One or Two Poems from the White World and his extraordinary VILLON (which is later I think than Four Lectures) send the ball further for me though than these do. The insistent pacing, Borscht Belty antic tone, and unremittingly block-like textual units exhaust me pretty quickly, even where they show glints of the waspish aesthete through the sober Langpo threads, which never seemed to fit Rodefer as naturally as they do some others. I have friends who swear by this book, so I’ve tried and tried, but the prodigious intelligence, wit, and charisma I see here I find in greater concentration in some of his other collections. Has anyone seen his Baudelaire yet?

SHORT FORM: “Just the right hint of everything,
pushed through a sieve.”

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