The Nerve Criticism

Glyn Maxwell
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“The Nerve” was published in a collection that bears the same title, and that book was chosen by the New York Times as Notable Book of the Year for 2002. In his review of the book, the New York Times writer David Orr finds that “Maxwell writes smart, formal lyrics that pay conscious tribute to the English verse tradition” and then goes on to describe this collection with words such as “low-key,” “specific,” and “decent.” To explain this last adjective, Orr states that he is not giving Maxwell merely “faint praise.” Quite the contrary, Orr says that the way that Maxwell writes poetry makes it appear that Maxwell “grew up talking in sonnets.”

Orr comments directly about the poem “The Nerve,” relating the theme of the piece to Maxwell's possible sense of feeling a bit out of step with his new surroundings in the United States. “The...

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This section contains 382 words
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