Articles

This poem is a song an act a work of love

Taggart and repetition

Taggart’s “Slow Song for Mark Rothko” from ‘Peace on Earth’ (Turtle Island, 1981).

Reading the poetry of John Taggart involves the pleasures of repetition, as well as the mysteries and agitations of repeated presences: of language, of ideas, of sound forms, of song.

Shadow memory shadows music

Contextualized notes on John Taggart's prosody

Part 1: Contexts for John Taggart’s prosody

John Taggart: From his own words

A 2009 letter from Taggart to Joel Chace.

As Lorine Niedecker once wrote of Louis Zukofsky, I can write the same of John Taggart: “I [am] fortunate enough to call him friend and mentor.” I met John back in 1985 as a freshman at Shippensburg University. By some strange luck, I like to believe it was the hands of the gods, I was assigned John as my adviser. I was an undeclared major with “poetry” listed under Hobbies on my application.

Taggart: Sound and vision

[From a little over a decade ago — first published at Flashpoint — a meditation on what now — it seems clear — is to be considered “mid-period” Taggart, before the remarkable shift and efflorescence of Pastorelles and There Are Birds: the poetics of Standing Wave, Crosses, and above all that various and monumental collection Loop, a book which in my mind looms over American poetry of the 1980s and 1990s like the black monolith of Kubrick’s 2001 — or, more often, beckons like an enclave of vast, multilayered, shimmering Rothk

On singing and thinking

Taggart, George Oppen, and Ted Enslin, Sylvester’s Cove, Maine, 1975 (photo by Jennifer Taggart).

1. Under the heading “Poetry And Philosophy,” in an anthology of T. S. Eliot’s critical writings, there are several statements suggesting that poetry and thought are antithetical. For instance: “the poet who ‘thinks’ is merely the poet who can express the emotional equivalent of thought.”[1] And, writing of Dante and Shakespeare, Eliot claims that neither did any “real thinking,” but both made use of the thought of their times as “material enforced upon them” for the expression of their feelings.