A brooding woman who pulls herself together by working in tight forms, Smith has a style that people call idiosyncratic, but I think it’s merely historical. Like her British male contemporaries W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, Smith pulled in the verse techniques of an earlier century and used them to ironic advantage. These poets synthesized literary traditions instead of flinging them away wholesale—they were all eighteenth century poets of a sort.

Paris Review – A Chain on the Great Feelings, Diane Mehta

A brooding woman who pulls herself together by working in tight forms, Smith has a style that people call idiosyncratic, but I think it’s merely historical. Like her British male contemporaries W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, Smith pulled in the verse techniques of an earlier century and used them to ironic advantage. These poets synthesized literary traditions instead of flinging them away wholesale—they were all eighteenth century poets of a sort.

Paris Review – A Chain on the Great Feelings, Diane Mehta