Teaching Literature in a Discredited Civilization

Wikipedia Poem, No. 496


houses on this dial paired  
with one who dials out 
and his block with many people on it 
one who moves verges on this pair  
one who dials out 
a broad bruised hand 
sitting on condescending they 
are many 
houses on a 5D model 
apartment dwellers wrong laugh condescending
cry to the condescending cry
to the moon instead of death and 5D avenues 
with many houses on a 5D model 
apartment dwellers 
in pairs 
one who dials out and is weaker for it
a wrestler wrestlers stolen long neck 
some on this block with many 5D vacancies
modeled after men crying under floorboards 
one who dials out 
pairs with many alcoholic halfway homes
just two letters 
condescending to 
          gutlight catholics 
5D model apartment dwellers with many missing hearts

Wikipedia Poem, No. 237

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“All warfare is struggle for control of the unalterable logic of manifestation. The urgency of the study of poetics in our time — the political character of such study that involves it with power — derives from the bearing of this proposition on the fact that the social formation of power (e.g., the state) is structured like a representation and maintains itself under the conditions of the scarce-contested space and constrained logics of the manifest (that is, the represented) world by manipulating access to acknowledgment, which is the fundamental wealth of life.” Allen Grossman


literature links
classical meter
to nautical law

and thereby governare
kybernan the metrical unit tailwind
downstep tabernacle

the foot as referent
upstep includes
floating foundation

poetry kneels below abyssal sea
at the bottom of truth amphibrach free
command all prayerful men obey

the reductionary vowel
succeeds in american verse
a single stress jumps up

the english sailor’s skill is refined
the jersey poet strangles his dactyl
the iamb swings its truncheon as trochee


Source: Grossman, Allen R. True-love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Page 95. Print.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 232


“The effort to obtain an intelligible account of central reality is the effort that informs my dreams for poetry. I aspire not to be an obscure writer, nor to be, as it were, the blinded son, but in fact, to find some congruence between thr profoundest implications of voice, on the one hand, and the mortal clarity, on the other.” Allen Grossman


a unifying intersection
the poet adds his sight
remembers the long line

of memories rare poetry
is a musical achievement
poetry of prose the book

of another writer
writes his vocation
into existence

the poet then like a fine
wined philosopher will fill
his mind unlaboredly

one represents apparent statements
by the capacity of the wild world of
the creatureliness of the reader

serve as poet and achieve
bravery through the impossible
bomb a harvard with engagement



  • “Allen Grossman.” Poetry Foundation. n.d. Web. 19 June 2016.
  • Grossman, Allen R, Mark Halliday, Allen R. Grossman, and Allen R. Grossman. The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. Page 97. Print.