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The Paris Review No. 102, Spring 1987

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“For years, I’ve tried to stare at a piece of paper for a while every day. It tends to turn one into a kind of monster”: W. S. Merwin on the Art of Poetry.

Cynthia Ozick on why ego is boring, and fear of the large novel.

Stories by Alice Adams, Rick Bass, and Joan Silber. Poems by Charles Baxter, John Koethe, and William Matthews.

Table of Contents


Alice Adams, Ocracoke Island

Rick Bass, Where the Sea Used to Be

Jonathan Penner, Smoke

Joan Silber, The City, Seen from the Water, 1924


W. S. Merwin, The Art of Poetry No. 38  Full Text

Cynthia Ozick, The Art of Fiction No. 95  Full Text


Charles Baxter, Four Poems

Lavinia Blossom, Mr. Berg Waves to the Sky

Douglas Crase, Dog Star Sale

Tim Dlugos, Two Poems

Ian Ganassi, Partial Explanation

Peyton Houston, Ode

Carolyn Kizer, Gerda

John Koethe, Mistral

J. Martin, My Friend, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the Force of My Friendship with Wittgenstein the Young Man and Architect

William Matthews, April in the Berkshires

Laura Mullen, The Surface

Eileen Myles, Mad Pepper

Ron Padgett, Three Poems

Molly Peacock, Three Poems

Hugh Seidman, Four Poems

Charles Simic, Two Poems

Eleanor Ross Taylor, No

Baron Wormser, Two Poems


Picasso, Picasso's Women

Myron Stout, Untitled