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Glossator 10 (2018): Thrones

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GLOSSATOR 10 (2018)

Astern in the Dinghy: Commentaries on Ezra’s Pound’s Thrones de los Cantares 96-109

Edited by Alexander Howard

You in the dinghy (piccioletta) astern there! (CIX/788)

Mr. Pound Goes to Washington
Alexander Howard (University of Sydney)

Some Contexts for Canto XCVI
Richard Parker (University of Surrey)

Gold and/or Humaneness: Pound’s Vision of Civilization in Canto XCVII
Roxana Preda (University of Edinburgh)

Hilarious Commentary: Ezra Pound’s Canto XCVIII
Peter Nicholls (New York University)

“Tinkle, tinkle, two tongues”: Sound, Sign, Canto XCIX
Michael Kindellan (University of Sheffield)

“In the intellect possible”: Revisionism and Aesopian Language in Canto C
Alex Pestell (Independent Scholar)

Deep Rustication in Canto CI
Mark Byron (University of Sydney)

Shipwrecks and Mountaintops: Notes on Canto CII
Mark Steven (University of Exeter)

Revised Intentions: James Buchanan and the Antebellum White House in Canto CIII
James Dowthwaite (University of Göttingen)

Exploring Permanent Values: Canto CIV
Archie Henderson (Independent Scholar)

Canto CV: A Divagation?
Alec Marsh (Muhlenberg College)

So Slow: Canto CVI
Sean Pryor (University of New South Wales)

‘The clearest mind ever in England’: Pound’s Late Paradisal in Canto CVII
Miranda Hickman (McGill University)

Three Ways of Looking at a Canto: Navigating Canto CVIII
Kristin Grogan (Exeter College, University of Oxford)

‘To the king onely to put value’: Monarchy and Commons in Pound’s Canto CIX
Alex Niven (University of Newcastle)

print volume:

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Glossator 9 (2015): Pearl

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Glossator 9 (2015): Pearl

Edited by Nicola Masciandaro & Karl Steel

“Innoghe”: A Preface on Inexhaustibility –  Karl Steel

The Arbor and the Pearl: Encapsulating Meaning in “Spot” –  William M. Storm

Pearl, Fitt II –  Kevin Marti

Pearl, Fitt III (“more and more”) –  Piotr Spyra

“Pyȝt”: Ornament, Place, and Site – A Commentary on the Fourth Fitt of Pearl –  Daniel C. Remein

Meeting One’s Maker: The Jeweler in Fitt V of Pearl –  Noelle Phillips

“Mercy Schal Hyr Craftez Kyþe”: Learning to Perform Re-Deeming Readings of Materiality in Pearl –  James C. Staples

Fitt 7: Blysse / (Envy) –  Paul Megna

Pearl, Fitt VIII –  Kevin Marti

“Ther is no date”: The Middle English Pearl and its Work – Walter Wadiak

Fitt X – More – Travis Neel

Enough (Section XI) –  Monika Otter

Fitt XII: Ryght –  Kay Miller

Pearl, Fytt XIII –  A. W. Strouse

The Jerusalem Lamb of PEARL –  Jane Beal

Fitt 15 – Lesse –Tekla Bude

Out, Out, Damned Spot: Mote in Pearl and the Poems of the Pearl Manuscript –  Karen Bollermann

Seeing John: A Commentary on the Link Word of Pearl Fitt XVII – Karen Elizabeth Gross

Theoretical Lunacy: Moon, Text, and Vision in Fitt XVIII –  Bruno M. Shah & Beth Sutherland

Delyt and Desire: Ways of Seeing in Pearl –  Anne Baden-Daintree

Fitt XX – “Paye” –  David Coley

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Glossator 11 (2016): Marianne Moore – CFP

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Marianne Moore’s indictment of her own craft remains to this day a shrewd affront to critical exegesis. Piqued by ‘the immovable critic’, she treads a fine line in ‘Poetry’ between approbation and displeasure, a feeling entangled in the confession that ‘we do not admire what / we cannot understand’. Notwithstanding her penchant for axioms of this sort, Moore inclines elsewhere to a mode of expression that is dense, riddling and allusive; a poetics fit for sustained ‘inspection’, perhaps, but one whose fluid textual condition also resists ‘high sounding interpretation’. Given Moore’s tendency to revise published material – shuffling, redacting, reworking, restoring – it has often been difficult to say what ‘all this fiddle’ amounts to.

In taking Moore’s doubts about interpretation seriously, this special issue of Glossator proposes a broad approach to her verse and the stylistics of commentary. Glossing, annotating, doodling, and footnoting – Moore was always sensitive to smaller forms of labour and textual diversion, and the apparatus of her Collected Poems (‘A Note on the Notes’) bears witness to a bashful enthusiasm for marginalia, for ‘provisos, detainments, and postscripts’. Glossator welcomes contributions of two kinds, then: essays about the commentarial mode; and actual commentaries, queries and notes on particular poems.

Essays of 4000-6000 words may explore, but are not limited to, the following texts and topics:

  • Borrowing, allusion, and intertextuality in Moore’s verse – networks of influence – and our means of describing them
  • Moore’s critical work – for The Dial, and in The Complete Prose (1986)
  • Moore’s paratexts – ‘A Note on the Notes’ in the Collected Poems (1952); ‘Foreword’ to The Fables of La Fontaine: A Complete New Translation (1954); ‘Foreword’ to A Marianne Moore Reader (1961)
  • The significance and scope of scholarly editions by Robin Schulze (2002) and Heather Cass White (2008, 2012)
  • The relationship between life-writing and textual commentary, with particular attention to Linda Leavell’s Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (2013)

Contributors are encouraged to consult the journal’s general guidelines for commentary, which are detailed in the About section, and to peruse the journal’s Archive. If you are interested in contributing to this volume, please send a brief abstract to Dr Edward Allen, the issue editor, at


2 October 2015: Abstract proposal due to editor
1 January 2016: Decision regarding abstracts and selection of contributors
24 June 2016: Final Submission
August 2016: Publication


Glossator 8 (2013)

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Glossator 8 (2013)

Kafka’s Zurau Aphorisms — Michael Cisco
Sensuous and Scholarly Reading in Keats’s ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ — Thomas Day
Notes to Stephen Rodefer’s Four Lectures (1982) — Ian Heames
Ornate and Explosive Grief: A Comparative Commentary on Frank O’Hara’s “In Memory of My Feelings” and “To Hell with It”, Incorporating a Substantial Gloss on the Serpent in the Poetry of Paul Valéry, and a Theoretical Excursus on Ornate Poetics — Sam Ladkin
On In Memory of Your Occult Convolutions — Richard Parker


Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary

Glossator 10 (2015): Pearl — CFP

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“Perle plesaunte to princes paye / To clanly clos in golde so clere . . . ” (Pearl, lines 1-2).  Illuminating the paradoxical imperative to enclose and display the beautiful, the opening image of Pearl encodes at once the poem’s formal demand for commentary and its own commentarial poetics. On the one hand, the text’s permutative polysemy, aesthetic density, and continuing allegorical refractions persistently elicit explication in a special, conspicuous way. On the other hand, the literary dream-vision produces itself as a dialectical and interpretive reflection with and upon the Pearl herself, an unfinishable gloss on the mystery of “that specyal spyce” (938) whom the poet works to indicate across an impassible margin. Seeking to elaborate, continue, and expand Pearl’s poetics of radiant enclosure, this volume will offer a collective commentary on the full poem, divided according to its constitutive fitts or sections, which are marked by stanza-linking keywords:

I-Spot *
II-Adubbement *
III-More and More *
IV-Pyght *
V-Jueler *
VI-Deme *
VIII-Courtaysye *
IX-Date *
XI-Inoghe *
XIII-Maskeless *
XIV-Jerusalem *
XV-Lesse *
XVI-Mote *
XVII-John *
XVIII-Mone *
XIX-Delyt *
XX-Paye *

The editors of Glossator seek commentarial laborers for each section of this twenty-fold poetic vineyard, to be apportioned on a first-come, first-served basis. Contributions must conform to the journal’s general guidelines for commentary, which are detailed in the About section. Suggested length: 7000 words.  If you are interested in contributing to this volume, please send a brief abstract to the editors at The abstract should indicate which fitt you intend to comment on and the overall approach your commentary will take. NB: an asterisk above indicates that that fitt has been reserved. UPDATE: As the chance of simultaneous submissions has increased, please email editors to confirm availability before composing an abstract.


15 July 2014: Submissions due to editors
October 2014: Submissions returned to authors with comments
15 January 2015: Final Submission
March 2015: Publication