Tag Archives: Ben Lerner

The Lichtenberg Figures

Ben Lerner‘s 2003 Hayden Carruth Award-winning collection The Lichtenberg Figures is one of those that illuminates, for me, the difference between well-written and good.

The poems, all untitled, are almost all 14 lines, nominally sonnets. Like a lot of other folks these days, Lerner uses collage, repetition, puns, mash-ups of language (erudite & slang, high-falutin’ & jargon, academic & plain), juxtaposition, and rapid shifts throughout.

For instance,

The thinkable goes sobbing door-to-door
in search of predicates accessible by foot.
But sense is much shorter in person
and retreats from chamber to antechamber to text.

How then to restructure a premise like a promise?

Continue reading

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: