I think marketing poetry always has a flaw in it (the flaw of commodification is a given besides). Which is that you can't really "sell" someone a poem. You can't sell a trick or a joke. You can sell a BOOK of tricks, or jokes, though. So, marketing poetry/ poems is selling books. Not poetry. And here is the flaw - what people want from books is mostly fiction or non-fiction - they want either a) escape/ entertainment or b) information and/or advice or c) both. When you open a Book of Poems, you don't get either, exactly - you are pulled into something far deeper. A Book of Poems is like a book of deep water. Not something you might actually want on your shelf. This is why Books of Poetry need to be "sold" carefully, and for different reasons that many other kinds of books. You don't just "read" a book of poetry. You swim, or drown, in its depths.
THAT HANDSOME MAN A PERSONAL BRIEF REVIEW BY TODD SWIFT I could lie and claim Larkin, Yeats , or Dylan Thomas most excited me as a young poet, or even Pound or FT Prince - but the truth be told, it was Thom Gunn I first and most loved when I was young. Precisely, I fell in love with his first two collections, written under a formalist, Elizabethan ( Fulke Greville mainly), Yvor Winters triad of influences - uniquely fused with an interest in homerotica, pop culture ( Brando, Elvis , motorcycles). His best poem 'On The Move' is oddly presented here without the quote that began it usually - Man, you gotta go - which I loved. Gunn was - and remains - so thrilling, to me at least, because so odd. His elegance, poise, and intelligence is all about display, about surface - but the surface of a panther, who ripples with strength beneath the skin. With Gunn, you dressed to have sex. Or so I thought. Because I was queer (I maintain the right to lay claim to that