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Sunday, February 29, 2004

I'd ordered Marie Ponsots' books because of this 8-month-old review column by William Logan in The New Criterion, in which the usually reliable curmudgeon heaped praise on her work. He was more like himself writing about Sharon Olds, a writer who initially fascinated me but whose habit of ending lines with "the" eventually made it impossible for me to read her. I'm only half-kidding. Greg Perry evidently shares something of the same feeling about ending lines with articles. The man, by the way, is busy. Doesn't he have a day job? Not that I'd wish one on him.

But while I was feeling pleased with the way my prejudices were being echoed in the big world out there, I visited a new used book store just about a mile away and found a copy of Logan's Vain Empires. So far, it's heavy going, but I haven't slept much the last two nights because a boarder at our NC house has turned out to be a crackhead and a thief, and today I spent about 2 hours hauling 60 lb rocks (well, not all of them) from the woods into our garden, so I was willing to give myself some slack.

I might even have ventured publicly my opinion, fostered by a lot of iPod listening in the last two months, that Wallace Stevens was an old gas bag. But Michaela Cooper had to go and post this (last Friday, but I didn't read it until today). I hope she doesn't give Sharon Olds a similar treatment. I won't know what to do.


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