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Untam'd Wing: Riffs on Romantic Poetry

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The jazz term riff is short for riffle-make rough. In Untam'd Wing: Riffs on Romantic Poetry, scholar/poet Jeffrey Robinson sets out much like a jazz musician to renew a great body of work (say, Miles Davis on George Gershwin)-to recast, as he says in the Prefatory Note, what have become monuments, with all the inertness of passive appreciation that monumentality encourage The jazz term riff is short for riffle-make rough. In Untam'd Wing: Riffs on Romantic Poetry, scholar/poet Jeffrey Robinson sets out much like a jazz musician to renew a great body of work (say, Miles Davis on George Gershwin)-to recast, as he says in the Prefatory Note, what have become monuments, with all the inertness of passive appreciation that monumentality encourages, into living forms. If he roughs up some of our long-time favorites, it's not to revise, and certainly not to improve, but on the contrary to reveal a timeless dimension that is of the very nature of the Romantic: I would define a 'romantic' poem, of whatever vintage, as one that invites its own renewal in every present. With all the boldness and subtle care of the poets he celebrates, Robinson stakes his life-long involvement as reader, teacher, and scholar/critic of Romantic poetry on an equally committed absorption and belief in the discoveries of modern and contemporary experimental poetry. Like a true marriage it lays bare both parties.


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The jazz term riff is short for riffle-make rough. In Untam'd Wing: Riffs on Romantic Poetry, scholar/poet Jeffrey Robinson sets out much like a jazz musician to renew a great body of work (say, Miles Davis on George Gershwin)-to recast, as he says in the Prefatory Note, what have become monuments, with all the inertness of passive appreciation that monumentality encourage The jazz term riff is short for riffle-make rough. In Untam'd Wing: Riffs on Romantic Poetry, scholar/poet Jeffrey Robinson sets out much like a jazz musician to renew a great body of work (say, Miles Davis on George Gershwin)-to recast, as he says in the Prefatory Note, what have become monuments, with all the inertness of passive appreciation that monumentality encourages, into living forms. If he roughs up some of our long-time favorites, it's not to revise, and certainly not to improve, but on the contrary to reveal a timeless dimension that is of the very nature of the Romantic: I would define a 'romantic' poem, of whatever vintage, as one that invites its own renewal in every present. With all the boldness and subtle care of the poets he celebrates, Robinson stakes his life-long involvement as reader, teacher, and scholar/critic of Romantic poetry on an equally committed absorption and belief in the discoveries of modern and contemporary experimental poetry. Like a true marriage it lays bare both parties.

1 review for Untam'd Wing: Riffs on Romantic Poetry

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    mark mendoza

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