Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 6,000 archived posts.

Rachel Hadas: Lessons of Poetry

It is easier to lecture about the time and place of a book, the culture that produced it, the special historical or linguistic problems involved in it. It is harder…to face the book as a masterpiece and to help the student understand why it is a masterpiece….

August 22, 2021 · 4 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: The Prosody of an Ineradicable Sob

My poems, whatever their other springs may be, flow from the meter of my inner voice in creative conflict with an ineradicable sob. When my breathing is interrupted by a … Continue reading

April 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Djelloul Marbrook: The donnée as entry to the temple

A crucial point in the making of some poems, especially long ones, arrives when the poet must decide whether to push through a kind of caesura in the process. That’s the … Continue reading

January 28, 2018 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: Journalism, Poetry, and Truth

Dawn broke Nov. 9th on a new global reality. Donald Trump, in spite of almost universal predictions to the contrary, will have his notoriously small hands on the red telephone. … Continue reading

January 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Djelloul Marbrook: News is the Noise of Civilization

Book reviews are more often than not ways to relegate and marginalize ideas that ought to supplant front-page news. They constitute a point of entry to an issue the recent … Continue reading

December 26, 2016 · 3 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: Against Strunk and White

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is a grammatical manifesto that has dominated American literature almost from the day of its Jazz Age publication in … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: Poetry as a haunting ley-line system in the service of human evolution

A ley line is a fairy path to the Irish, a dragon line to the Chinese, a djinnway to Arabs, a spirit line to the Incas, a songline to the … Continue reading

June 19, 2015 · 3 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: About the contest industry and bat-shit craziness

A presumption of dandelions Another damned winner to celebrate while we poison dandelions and hardly know how to honor daffodils. Never mind the Lenten rose breaking through the snow, we … Continue reading

June 3, 2015 · 3 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: “Wolf Hall” and the Grandeur of Anonymity

. Silence plays a greater role in poetry and music than sound, its grandeur being its anonymity. Let me introduce living proof. He is the prince of silence and his … Continue reading

May 16, 2015 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: The Poet is a Luthier

A poem is a musical instrument. The way its author plays it is not necessarily the way others will play it. The poet is a luthier. He uses certain materials … Continue reading

March 22, 2015 · 1 Comment

Djelloul Marbrook: Sailing with Marcus Aurelius on an Ash Wind

Something is exquisitely compatible about sailing and Marcus Aurelius’s admonition to perform each act as if it were your last. The Stoic emperor of Rome is one of the few … Continue reading

February 22, 2015 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: The subversion of the Fourth Estate and the emergence of the Fifth Estate

Exhibit A John B. is the city solicitor of a growing suburban city. The city is contemplating the use of eminent domain to build a new school. His job is … Continue reading

February 15, 2015 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: Once We Had a Press that Gave a Damn

When I worked as an editor at the once great Baltimore Sun in the 1960s our style book prohibited use of the word rapist, preferring raper. Some of us thought … Continue reading

February 7, 2015 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: What is Poetry For?

To say the unsayable is the province of poetry in society—to say it in such a way that it occupies the rafters, the eaves, the cantilevers, cornerstones, ogees and Palladians … Continue reading

February 1, 2015 · 6 Comments

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