Ghosts in the machine - Page 2

Matthew Zapruder's poems are built to last

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Machines made of words: Come On All You Ghosts is Matthew Zapruder's third full-length collection of poetry
PHOTO BY CHRIS HARDY

I like this because Zapruder entirely flouts the formal constraint even as his lines retain status as individual units. The way the second stanza seems to well up to an image that disintegrates with the third stanza's interestingly unseeable "all the things I see" and the midline off-rhyme of "skull" and "hung" reveal considerable technical chops concealed in the single verse form. They exert themselves there, but discreetly, shifting the sense of lines through intricate syntactic ruses like a modern-day Basil Bunting, whereas here they assert themselves more forcibly. The theme of the poem as a machine — that "anyone with a mind/ who cares can enter" — returns to close "Ghosts," and this is not a bad way to think about poetry. As Zapruder's book attests, the poetry that endures is built to last.

 

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