Bonnard's Garden Criticism

Rick Barot
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Neither Barot's poem “Bonnard's Garden” nor his collection The Darker Fall has received much critical attention. One reviewer, Brian Phillips, writing for Poetry, compliments Barot's competence as a writer but believes that something is lacking in his work. While he finds no “bad” poems in Barot's collection, he also fails to find a “really good one.” Indeed, Phillips finds that Barot's expertise in writing “a certain kind of poem” cannot be challenged, but he sees an absence of risk taking, as the poems feature “steady retreats from the desperate and uncharted.” Phillips concludes that Barot might have been seeking approval in presenting this first collection of poems, a “condition” that does not give birth to good poetry.

In his foreword to Barot's first collection, Stanley Plumly praises the poet's relationship with language. Plumly observes,

The first responsibility of poetry is, of course, language. . . . Those who believe...

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This section contains 287 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bonnard's Garden Study Guide
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