I've been reading the essays of Michael Ryan, one of the professors of poetry here at UCI. Which is an interesting title, I've always thought - professor of anything. A public declaration of your expertise in a field, apparently, from the Latin verb "profitieri".
Anyway, his essays, as Pinsky tells us on the front cover blurb, are "crisp, passionate, and learned." I like "learned", thanks Bob.
Crisp, though, yes, they are crisp. They slice well. Many of them are short, and full of clear expressions of a simple philosophy of poetry, form and purpose.