William Logan


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William Logan is the author of ten volumes of poetry, most recently Madame X (2012). He has published six books of essays and reviews, including The Undiscovered Country, which received the National Book Critics Circle award in criticism. A new book of criticism, Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure, was published early this year. Among the books he has edited are an expanded edition of Randall Jarrell’s Poetry and the  Age (2001) and an edition of John Townsend Trowbridge’s Guy Vernon (2012).

Among his honors are the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle, the Corrington Medal for Literary Excellence, and the inaugural Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry Criticism. Last year he received the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry. He teaches at the University of Florida, where he is Alumni/ae Professor of English and Distinguished Teaching-Scholar.

 

Moth

Green of old jade, trim as a Tiffany brooch
against the breech of clapboard

in the hard light of noon, the dust moth
was a leftover of the other world—

lost, abandoned, perhaps mislaid,
or found at some inconvenient hour,

like an umbrella after a spring shower.

 

Winter above the Museum

The fading appointments
of nineteenth-century New York
stopped short. Look!

The turquoise roof of the ancien hotel
reflects dawn like the Bering sea.
By the balcony’s stone balustrade,

no ivory cup of coffee on the table,
no steaming plate of toast triangles,
and no one to eat what isn’t there.

The anonymous observer might be
Kertesz staring down
at the base of the Eiffel Tower,

or taking a sly glimpse at the blue
slice of Hudson, the mold-colored park,
gobbets of pastry

left for Miss Havisham.

 

Memories of Storm

The bunched curtains of storm cloud
roughened the afternoon. The townscape
was slipshod, medieval Antwerp or London,

needle gables betraying a mild nihilism,
the churches faced with Anglian flint,
proof enough against the flight of reason.

The sky had long been broken;
but what shone through, those late afternoons
when we lingered in the shadows of the century—

I mean the garden—talking over the future
already past, was a sudden burnished light
the faint blush of rust, or of dead salmon.

 

*****

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