Lana Del Rey: A Great American Poet

Hannah Williams at The New Statesman:

In “The Song of Myself”, Whitman tells us “I am the man, I suffered, I was there”. The poetic force of his work, which the American poet James Wright terms his “delicacy”, arises from the exactness of his observations; Whitman’s dedication to what he called “every organ and attribute”. This commitment to specificity is vital in understanding Del Rey’s artistic evolution; in her work on NFR! and beyond, she exhibits an oblique approach to individual experience, one that places a similar emphasis on precision. An instinct for poetic specificity is most apparent on “Blue Bannisters”, “Kintsugi” and “Fingertips”, sprawling, stream-of-consciousness confessionals that speak to Jesus, her family, lovers past and present, the dead and the living and the unborn, America, the Earth and the heavens, herself. There’s a Whitman-esque delicacy to her lyrics, whether they’re about the way John Denver holds the note on “Rocky Mountain High”her sister making birthday cake while chickens run around the yard, or dropping a location pin to her lover on a hot night in the canyon.

more here.