I have also been thinking about sentimentality. Another manuscript I was reading seemed to me to veer too frequently toward what I was calling in my own mind “sentimental.” What do I mean by that? Am I just a hard-boiled anti-emotion cold fish? Or am I on to something? I think what I mean is poetry that is trying too hard to control me and my emotions, or signaling too clearly what it wants me to feel, rather than allowing the power of the words/images/other fun stuff in poems to bring me to an emotion. Do you know what I mean? I’d rather have emotion suggested, or come at it crabwise through the poem, or have it surprise me, than have it dropped on me. I was reading a poem the other day that had me in tears before I had any idea it was going to do that. Now THAT’s what I want. Unfortunately, I can’t find the poem again, or I’d show it to you. Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” gets me every time.