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He is famous for his short stories, and rightly so
on December 24, 2001
I'm criticizing Carver with the utmost deference, because I hold the man in the highest regard and strive to write like him. I can't say enough good things about his short stories (My favorite is A Small, Good Thing), which manage to say so much with so few pages. His poems, however, are not as good as his short stories. They lack the continuity of his stories, as well as the practiced craft of more experienced poets. The line changes seem awkward, and there is not a consistent theme in each sub-collection. These poems are not meant to be read by poetry afficionados, but by precocious teenagers who need a little encouragement to start writing for themselves. Carver's stories should be required reading for any human being, but if you like to read poems about the same themes, check out Carl Dennis or Tony Hoagland.