Jay Rogoff did not initially model his poems after Emily Dickinson’s, but he has grown increasingly aware of affinities between some of his work and hers. He details his admiration for Dickinson’s “certain slants”: apparent ambiguities of imagery or meaning that nevertheless create precise emotional and psychological imaginative states. These instances of oblique precision, he believes, form the heart of Dickinson’s work. Their paradoxical brilliance often lies in their creation of precise psychological states deriving from an unnamed event or situation and in their ability to evoke specific emotional responses even when they progress from concrete imagery into abstractions. Periodically inspired by both her prosody and her dense technique, he has aimed to create poems that surprise with multiple meanings in ways that seem initially casual but ultimately inevitable. Rogoff studies four Dickinson poems alongside four of his own.


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pp. 39-54
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