Fine James Tate Review

Of his last, non-posthumous book.

Been very, very difficult to read (still have not done all of it). He dies several times, including the final poem. O’Rourke identifies a quality that I sensed, but not consciously — there’s an undercurrent of being ill that runs through the collection.

BTW, I was one of those who initially resisted Tate’s shift to more prose-poem forms. I adored his line-by-line cadences. This seemed like playing tennis with at least a lowered net. Eventually, though, I came to see that it was a shift that enabled him to keep writing. Without it, he might very well have dried up and stopped. So then I got with the flow.

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