The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar

The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar

Essays on Poets and Poetry

Book - 2015
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One of our foremost commentators on poetry examines the work of a broad range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar gathers two decades worth of Helen Vendlers essays, book reviews, and occasional proseincluding the 2004 Jefferson Lecturein a single volume. Taken together, they serve as a reminder that if the arts and the patina of culture they cast over the world were deleted, we would, in Wallace Stevenss memorable formulation, inhabit a geography of the dead. These essays also remind us that without the enthusiasm, critiques, and books of each centurys scholars, there would be imperfect perpetuation and transmission of culture.
All of the modern poets who have long preoccupied VendlerWallace Stevens, Seamus Heaney, John Ashbery, and Jorie Grahamare fully represented, as well as others, including Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Amy Clampitt, James Merrill, A. R. Ammons, and Mark Ford. And Vendler reaches back into the poetic tradition, tracing the influence of Keats, Yeats, Whitman, T. S. Eliot, and others in the work of todays poets. As ever, her readings help to clarify the imaginative novelty of poems, giving us a rich sense not only of their formal aspects but also of the passions underlying their linguistic and structural invention. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar is an eloquent plea for the centrality, both in humanistic study and modern culture, of poetrys beautiful, subversive, sustaining, and demanding legacy.
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2015
ISBN: 9780674736566
Branch Call Number: 811 VENDL
Characteristics: viii, 444 pages ; 25 cm


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