Friday, September 26, 2008

Thank you, Nicholas #1

"The formality is not dry or overworked, the occasionality never sentimental or gratuit. In this way, the two aspects harmonize one another: they exist, not only together, but with an extraordinary complementarity. It is perhaps for this reason that Young’s poetry seems almost more comfortable with itself — with its status as well as with what it has to say — than much of the poetry of the New Americans which constitutes its vital, and readily declared, lineage.

"The same type of intriguing reconciliation between form and occasion also occurs in the tone of this poetic. There has always been, for me, a strangely almost cosmopolitan flair to Mark Young’s poems — the sophisticated frime of a repressed flâneur — which sits intriguingly next to the down-to-earth pragmatism. To watch him one moment lunch with O’Hara, converse with Magritte, then dream with Bosch, is to experience the breadth, not so much of influences, but of interests and of an intelligence. Also, and just as for O’Hara, Berrigan or Rexroth, there is something sly, and darkly astute, to Young’s plays at insouciance. Every clever click of the lexical fingers or flick of the grammatical wrist carries beneath it an undertone: an analytic, and often political, force."

From Nicholas Manning's review of Pelican Dreaming. Jacket 38, late 2008.


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