Radcliffe Squires

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Luzi's poems ought to make most contemporary American poets entirely ashamed. I refer to our habit, as X. J. Kennedy once put it, of using the public as our waste basket. Ninety percent of the poetry published today fails to make anything of experience for the simple reason that it makes everything of experience, so that experience becomes not tutor but a kind of trivial tyrant. For Luzi all experience alters, alters profoundly, yet the alteration alters only to lead the self into the self. Hence, like all major poets Luzi is freed from effect. When the publishers sent me the manuscript of this book last year, I wrote as follows (and see no risk in repeating myself now): "Mario Luzi is a wonderful poet, so sure of his truth that he has no use for glitter."

Radcliffe Squires, "Mario Luzi," in Michigan Quarterly Review (copyright © The University of Michigan, 1975), Winter, 1975, p. 118.

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