John Pistelli

writer

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe My rating: 5 of 5 stars Goethe’s Faust, including Part One and Part Two, was written over the entire course of the author’s adult … Continue reading

31 October 2018 · Leave a comment

Hart Crane, The Bridge

The Bridge by Hart Crane My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Bridge (1930) is a long poem seven years in the making. It was written under several varieties of … Continue reading

11 May 2018 · Leave a comment

Tracy K. Smith, Life on Mars

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith My rating: 4 of 5 stars This celebrated 2011 volume from the current U.S. poet laureate is her elegy for her father, a … Continue reading

20 April 2018 · Leave a comment

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Hamlet by William Shakespeare My rating: 5 of 5 stars Why is this bizarre, disorderly, long, and poorly transmitted tragedy from the turn of the seventeenth century the central work … Continue reading

23 February 2018 · 3 Comments

Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck

Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich My rating: 3 of 5 stars In the blurb on the cover of this paperback, Margaret Atwood promises that this book … Continue reading

2 February 2018 · Leave a comment

My Year in Books, 2017

But let’s start with movies. Ten years ago, the Scottish musician and critic Momus observed that one of the most acclaimed films of 2007, Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish-Civil-War fantasy¬†Pan’s Labyrinth, … Continue reading

31 December 2017 · Leave a comment

Dante, Paradiso

Paradiso by Dante Alighieri My rating: 4 of 5 stars Here is what you’ve heard about the Divine Comedy: the¬†Inferno, with its poignantly vivid tortures and its cacophony of wicked … Continue reading

19 December 2017 · 1 Comment

Dante, Purgatorio

Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri My rating: 4 of 5 stars Allen Mandelbaum begins his introduction to his wonderful translation thusly:   For the Virgil of Dante’s Purgatorio, “love is the … Continue reading

2 December 2017 · 3 Comments

Claudia Rankine, Citizen

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine My rating: 3 of 5 stars Citizen is a prose-poetry compendium of racial microaggressions aimed at a poetic speaker who nevertheless speaks in … Continue reading

27 November 2017 · 3 Comments

Dante, Inferno

Inferno by Dante Alighieri My rating: 5 of 5 stars You know the story: a man in the middle of life is lost in a shadowy forest of ignorance and … Continue reading

31 October 2017 · 2 Comments