I have been struggling with a review of Mutlu Konuk Blasing's study, Lyric Poetry, for The Wallace Stevens Journal. I have promised the editor I would give him the review Monday & I've set aside tomorrow morning to beat my notes into a 1500 word book review. I confess that I have been having a hard time separating my reaction to the book's style from its ideas. The style seems wildly over-elaborate, while the arguments seem plausible & even useful. The other thing that I've been having trouble with is the book's strategy. Three chapters of theory, followed by individual chapters on High Modernist icons Eliot, Pound & Stevens -- that august law firm! -- followed by a chapter on Anne Sexton that feels tacked on. I keep getting the feeling that there is a partially hidden project here to make the High Modernist project respectable again (with the help of Sigmund Freud). And that suspicion engenders a deep ambivalence in me because I love Eliot, am fascinated by Pound & respect Stevens! I want to do Blasing's arguments justice; I think her explication of the "lyric I" provides a more useful framework than the disreputable remains of the New Criticism's "unified expression of a single speaker." Maybe I just don't read enough criticism anymore to keep myself inoculated from a particular kind of clotted diction that seeks to over-sell solid insights as revolutionary realignments of literary history.