Poems teach us how to read them: DeWeese on Leonard’s ‘Eclogue’

Christopher DeWeese offers a searching reading of Dominic Leonard’s ‘Eclogue’, in the latest addition to The Poetry Society’s ‘In Front of the Poem’ online series – the facts of it (“The horses are dying”) and the tensions within its language and form that “[keep] the poem slightly off balance”.

“Poems teach us how to read them,” DeWeese observes. “In ‘Eclogue’, Leonard does an interesting thing with enjambment […] creating a sort of halting effect that slows rather than hastens us as we read through the enjambments. It actually reminds me of Robert Creeley […] really digging in to the pauses in-between abrupt enjambments.”

‘In Front of the Poem’ is an occasional series of articles accompanying The Poetry Review in which poets are invited to analyse other poems that have appeared in the journal. Recent articles include Seán Hewitt on Romeo Oriogun’s ‘From Darkness Into Light’, Kathryn Maris on Mary Ruefle’s ‘A Morning Person’ and Andre Bagoo on Seán Hewitt’s ‘Epithalamium’.

Read the full ‘In Front of the Poem’ piece by Christopher DeWeese.

4 November 2021