A Concert of Tenses

Essays on Poetry
Tess Gallagher
Gallagher writes of contemporary poets and of the influences on her poetry


"In a poem I consecrate all that forgotten life through memory, cast like a light on my life and the lives of others. The poet is the Lazarus of the poem, rising up with it. In the time of the poem it is still possible to find courage for the present moment. The life imagined in the poem has been known to affect the speaker, the reader, their sense of what can be salvaged or abandoned in a life. However, if we are like the blind man whose reality in the instant of 'now' ends at the tip of his stick as he walks along the cliff, we must still believe in falling. The poem, for all its beauty, is a construct, and though the words in it may give the fiercest light, we cannot live there."
—Tess Gallagher

". . . a vivid work, one that can be of substantial use to new writers needing direction and encouragement—and a vocabulary to talk about their writing."
Boston Globe

Look Inside

My Father's Love Letters          1
A Concert of Tenses: An Interview with Jeanie Thompson          24
Poetry in Translation: Literary Imperialism or, Defending the Musk Ox          45
Again: Some Thoughts on the Narrative Impulse in Contemporary Poetry          67
Sing It Rough          83
The Poem as Time Machine          90
The Poem as a Reservoir for Grief          103
Scarves! Echoes! Pavilions!: The Poetry of Laura Jensen          118
Inside the Kaleidoscope: The Poetry of Michael Burkard          128
Like a Strange Guest of the Earth: The Poems of Linda Gregg          148
Throwing the Scarecrows from the Garden: The Poetry of Marianne Moore          167
Adding to the Unhappiness: Those Poems You Are Writing          184
An Interview with Rachel Berghash          198
Last Class with Roethke          213
To Work and Keep Kind: A Tribute to Stanley Kunitz          219

Product Details

  • 5-1/4 x 8.
  • 240pp.
  • 3 B&W Photographs and 1 Line Drawing.
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  • Paper
  • 1987
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  • 978-0-472-06370-3

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