by John J. Miller

A subscription offer for Poetry magazine showed up in the mail yesterday. The outside of the envelope carried a big quote: “New editor, new life, new kickassery.” A card on the inside repeated the quote. I’m all for useful and clever neologisms, but would you subscribe to a magazine about poetry that thinks “kickassery” is its great virtue?

“O that he were here to write me down an ass! but, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass.” That’s Shakespeare, who had the good sense to write this line in prose.

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