Very much so, yes. His words make my head dizzy and compels me to think about his work in relation to my own. How can anyone be so succinct in their writing? It’s split up into 5 sections–the 1st and 3rd I found to be especially chore-like to get through. There were two gates before we got to the road. That was a steep learning curve, and for two years I worked seven days a week trying to get everything done. Some of the book isn’t easy to grasp in one reading, especially the loose compilations of brief thoughts many of which take no more than a longish paragraph , but for understandings of poetry and its recent history, the book is great.

Then I was only there for a year when this job opened up. Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower. I enjoyed the mix of autobiography and literary criticism. Or was that a different thing…. Wiman’s essays up until “Fugitive” pieces are simply brilliant. The last essay, “Love Bade Me Welcome,” is dynamite.

Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet

Becoming a Poet by Christian Wiman. Christian Wiman is a poet and essayist who has taught at Stanford University and Lynchburg College; his work has been published in the Atlantic Wjman, the London Review of Booksand elsewhere.

Becoming a Poetand the rest of it is as good as “The Limit. This is lived experience, on which he reflects, and it is a full and fascinating reflection.

christian wiman essay the limit

And talk about interesting people! Wiman is alive to the jointly restorative benefits of poetry and prose-writing. There is some inner, inarticulate anger we share, though, and recognize in each other.


christian wiman essay the limit

But I can understand it, at esssy partly. Both boundary and failure are accentuated by the traumatic events in his recollection. I really liked your essays, and the one that was in the American Scholar recently. And the memoir sections are riveting.

Another writer might have rested on this confession of inadequacy.

The limit | Harper’s Magazine

Supposedly, the whole extended family had conspired for a time to create their own private climate of calm, eradicating all hints of darkness from their lives like a country rigidly purging its past, steering conversations toward church and children, hiding the knives. Email wlman Address never made public. Do you enjoy editing Poetry?

The paradox is that you need a strong ego to make art, but too much of it and the work is corrupted. For love read faith into these lines that so obviously lack it. At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate be shut; but I find that yet there is time. It is a piece christiaan rarity, almost Shakespearian, the way it builds epic tragedy with the laconic telling of violent episode after violent episode.

There are things that happen to us that, no matter how hard we try to forget, no matter with what fortitude we face them, what mix of religion and therapy we swallow, what finished and durable forms of art we turn them into, are going to go on happening inside of us for as long as our brains are alive.

‘Once in the West’: Love, loss, and the limits of poetry

My father moved among them like a father. The clipped and parenthetical lines, like all those commas in the final three lines of this passage, defer a conclusion to the anecdote; and they hedge against conclusiveness.


This is a guy who wants his poems strictly metered and, ideally, to start with O! No power on earth can make it stay. Gosh, there are so many examples like that.

Love, loss, and the limits of poetry: ‘Once in the West’ travels through suffering to faith

Do you think of faith as purely pragmatic — you believe because it makes your life better? But is it lost or released into formlessness when we look away? Or was that a different thing…. He seeks a perpetual present in the flux of time and materials:.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And did you come to Chicago for a job? And there’s way too much talk about “major poets” and “important poetry”, which I’ve always found obnoxious.

It’s a compilation of personal essays, criticism, remembrances, fragments, etc. It’s split up into 5 sections–the 1st and 3rd I found to be especially chore-like to get through.

This really is an impressive book of essays.