On “Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet”, a memoir by Robert Pinsky

Ron Slate at On the Seawall:

Robert Pinsky

Jersey Breaks is largely about insisting on having things your own way and getting away with it. Such was the example set by grandfather Dave Pinsky, Prohibition bootlegger, then bar proprietor. Young Robert was a mediocre student, or rather, he was an avid  reader who spurned the orthodoxies of schooling. Music became his expressive refuge; he played the horn at school dances and later during ROTC drills at Rutgers where Paul Fussell became his first notable teacher. Before college, he read Lewis Carroll’s Alice, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee, R. L. Stevenson, James Joyce, and Walter Scott. Then later, the first poetry – Ginsberg, Moore, Eliot, Yeats. He heard something similar in the work of Eliot and Ginsberg, though his instructors said otherwise.

More here.