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  #11  
Old 07-16-2003, 05:06 AM
Campoem
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Alicia,
Was relieved to hear mine got onto the site (assuming you checked there). Will check myself and resubmit if necessary within the next few days. Not having had any previous truck with Amazon reviewing I wondered after posting whether it was OK make up one's own heading (as I did) or whether it had to be the title of the book. Read that hatchet job with some surprise - as your overall rating was five star.
Look forward to reading more of your lively work, Margaret.
(Eileen is my first name - used only for financial or other official purposes only, never socially or for writing, but I tend to give it obediently when organisations demand my first name!)
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2003, 09:02 AM
Rhina P. Espaillat Rhina P. Espaillat is offline
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Thanks so much, Terese and Wild Bill! I'm very grateful for your responses to my poems, and for your comments on Amazon and Alsop Review expressing those.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2003, 10:58 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Unlike Aliki, my five star ratings have been lost on Deed and VFN, largely thanks to some unknown enemy who posted this on the VFN page:

A Bit Too Far North, February 7, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from El Cajon, CA United States
The poet's first book had some moments of interest. I have to agree with the prior reviewer that things got much weaker as the book progressed: insufficient charge, lack of dynamic, failure to come alive off the page, absence of organic vitality or variety after awhile.

With this collection, the same weaknesses manifest themselves. Much more reminiscent of Robert Francis (hard to find anthologized or cited much anymore), and nowhere near the level of mastery, depth, profundity, multi-layered dimensions of Frost.

Uneven in quality. Some genuinely touching and heartfelt moments; some gravity; some wit. Some original music on occasion. But overall lacking the inspiration and sublime artistry of Wilbur, Hecht, Hardy, Betjeman, Larkin and the magnificent short pieces of Yeats, Auden, Robinson, Housman, de la Mare, Masefield, W. Owen, Sassoon, C. Rossetti, Bogan, Wylie, E. Jennings, Vikram Seth, Tim Steele, Dana Gioia, Heaney, Wordsworth, Blake, Geo. Herbert, Glyn Maxwell.

It is hoped the next collection will provide enough maturing, development, progression, freshness, and elements of what Harold Bloom in his just-out book calls 'Groundbreaking Genius' to rate the poetry higher on the rereadable-memorability scale

I encountered this with some amusement, for I rank Robert Francis just behind Robinson and just ahead of Stevens in my personal pantheon of American poets.

An enemy I made at West Chester? I don't think so. Longman had eighteen professors do peer reviews of our Beowulf. 12 of them said they'd drop the Heaney and adopt our version. The others were just unbelievably hostile, one of them even saying "Longman should not be publishing the Sullivan/Murphy version, because they are viciously anti-feminist, and they are reputed to be homosexuals!" How those two assertions can be contained in the same mind, let alone the same sentence, is beyond me!

Ah well, there's an old joke that the fury of academic disputes are inversely proportional to the triviality of what is at stake. And I thank the many gifted readers and reviewers of my work for their charitable appraisals of same.

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  #14  
Old 07-17-2003, 12:19 PM
Paul Lake Paul Lake is offline
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Tim, my initial reaction to the following quote--

"Longman should not be publishing the Sullivan/Murphy version, because they are viciously anti-feminist, and they are reputed to be homosexuals!"

was exactly like yours. The two halves of the statement seemed to contradict each. Here's the solution, I think. The writer is not repudiating you for being (gasp!) a reputed homosexual, but, rather, wondering how someone reputed to be a homosexual could be "anti-feminist." That is, how could a member of a class that makes up part of the leftist coalition, a gay man, actually criticize another leftist identity group, feminists.

Sound logical? Otherwise, the professor's head would explode from cognitive dissonance.
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2003, 02:46 PM
Richard Wakefield Richard Wakefield is offline
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Tim:
Aside from whether it's possible to be both homosexual (or even reputedly homosexual) AND antifeminist, what does either one or the combination of the two have to do with the quality of the translation? Maybe the person is afraid that if students read it backwards it will have encoded messages promoting the famous homosexual agenda -- or was that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?
RPW
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2003, 05:43 AM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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I've not a clue what was going on in her head. Actually, I think the liberation of women is the most exciting human development in my lifetime. The leftist critiques of the Wulf were pretty amazing. Our understanding of the poem is 100 years out of date. There is no good and evil, no hero, no monsters. We fail to grasp the essential humanity of Grendel's mother. (Yeah, she only slew Aeschere because she loved her baby.) In any case, the complaints immensely amused the head of literature at Longman, who is such a red-necked barbarian that he hunts with Murphy and Gwynn. When I asked Wilbur what he thought of Logan's infamous review of Mayflies, he smiled and said, "He has his readers. I have mine."
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2003, 06:10 AM
Terese Coe Terese Coe is offline
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Mr. Wilbur is a wise man indeed.

The brightest and most creative people have always had, will always have, their enemies. Even Socrates had enemies. Even the Buddha had enemies. Even Christ.

Terese
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  #18  
Old 07-18-2003, 10:11 AM
Rhina P. Espaillat Rhina P. Espaillat is offline
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What an immensely silly review of VFN! It consists entirely of comparisons--inept ones--rather than focusing on the work itself, about which it says nothing substantive supported with evidence or examples! Mr. Wilbur's attitude is the wise one, of course: as we say in the Big Apple, fuggedaboudit. It doesn't deserve anything else.
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2003, 02:29 PM
nyctom nyctom is offline
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Well OF COURSE there are misogynistic faggots--spend more than three minutes in a gay bar and you will meet some--but it does make you wonder what the same people would say about lesbian separatists.
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  #20  
Old 07-18-2003, 02:37 PM
Tim Murphy Tim Murphy is offline
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Thanks, Rhina and Terese. I've been lucky at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com, because the readers who've reviewed me include Suzanne Noguerre, Len Krisak, David Anthony, Terese Coe, Caleb Murdock, and other worthy Spherians. I've posted few reviews there, but here's what I said about Greg Williamson's new book, which all of us must own:

A Scrivener in the Scriptorium, May 27, 2001
Reviewer: Tim Murphy (see more about me) from Fargo, North Dakota
Williamson may well be the most prodigiously gifted young poet to come along since Wilbur, Hecht and Justice appeared around 1950. All these masters have eloquently praised his work; and if we fifty-somethings haven't said much, maybe we're too flumoxed by how damn good he is. Errors in the Script is a substantially better book than The Silent Partner, which was superb. The first third is comprised of big, solid poems which are advances on his earlier triumphs. My two favorites are Origami and Kites at the Washington Monument. The second third is a tour de force, twenty-six Double Exposures. Each poem is three poems, two in heroic couplets, and the third in quatrains. The left and right-hand poems interleave like fingers in hands folded in prayer to form the third, and the third is far greater than the sum of the parts. The same is true of the entire work, an extended meditation on life, on consciousness and perception. The final section of the book is perhaps a little too hip, too flip, for my codgerly taste, though mall-crawlers half my age may prize it above the rest. Anyone seriously interested in the present and future of poetry owes it to her or himself to acquire this terrific collection.
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