Notes on the Modern Elegy: A Review of “Gabriel: A Poem”

Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch (Knopf; 78 p.)  Elegies, in our age of access to centuries’ worth of poems, can seem outdated, stilted, and perhaps even a bit indulgent. It’s hard to imagine a straightforward popular and populist book lamenting death like John Gunther’s howl of an elegy for his young son, Death Be Not Proud today. I find it hard not to feel an instinctive response of both been-there-seen-that and the attending tic of kindness that tells us […]

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