Brian Unger reviews “New poems by Norman Fischer”

Norman Fischer: A ‘test case for being’

I don’t know who’s right, Gary Snyder or Norman Fischer. Norman says that poetry has nothing to do with self-expression, while Gary says poetry is rooted in self-expression. Much of Fischer’s work reviewed here is highly social and profoundly universalist in nature, but it is often a form of self-expression from which the self has been excised, a “voiceless lyricism” denoting conflict and contradiction, not mastery or self-elevation.[1] Self-expression, according to Adorno, is a false categorization if left unanalyzed. Adorno’s critique is exemplified extraordinarily well in Fischer’s poetry, particularly in “Expensive Arrangements,” which we will examine closely.

Read full review at Jacket2

Brian Unger, “Norman Fischer: A 'test case for being',” in Jacket2 (July 14, 2011).