Their Ancient Glittering Eyes

Their Ancient Glittering Eyes

Remembering Poets and More Poets : Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Archibald MacLeish, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Yvor Winters, Marianne Moore

Book - 1992
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
A poet recalls his personal encounters with some famous literary figures

Blackwell North Amer
"Great poetry," wrote Donald Davie in the New York Times, reviewing an earlier version of this wonderful portrait gallery, "is a record of sanity maintained and achieved . . . I suspect that Donald Hall has written a modern classic." Young Donald Hall was fortunate to know and study with some of the great poets of the century, and to conduct interviews with others. This book, enlarged, enriched, and rewritten, lights up the elder poets it describes with freshness of approach and clarity of vision.
Robert Frost, behind his performing mask, was not only kinder than his biographers admitted, but more egotistical than legend allowed. Hall catches him in both attitudes. To cope with Dylan Thomas on one of his sprees was as harrowing for young Donald Hall - and as productive of hangovers - as for anyone else. Hall got to know T. S. Eliot first through an act of inadvertent copyright violation, but relations soon and profoundly improved. Archibald MacLeish, at ease in the White House and the Library of Congress, was somewhat awkward among his students, while Yvor Winters, terror of the critical quarterlies, evinced depths of unexpected tenderness. Marianne Moore, unpredictable and zany, proved to be a source of wonder and delight amid the knickknacks in her Brooklyn apartment. Ezra Pound, interviewed with great pains in his old age in Italy, could barely bring himself to speak of his past acts and opinions.
Hall's portraits of these giants of twentieth-century American poetry not only depict them as they were in their lives, but illuminate their work and their attitudes to it, born of diverse sources of talent, sympathy, and understanding. Other books on the great poets of our century have been either scholarly or strictly biographical. This book speaks of poets as poets, evoking W. B. Yeats's great poem "Lapis Lazuli":
On all the tragic scene they stare./ One asks for mournful melodies;/ Accomplished fingers begin to play./ Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,/ Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.
No wonder that Hilton Kramer has written of this book, in the New York Times Book Review, "I am certain it will be read and savored for a long time to come."

& Taylor

A student immortalizes his mentors and the great poets of our time in a collection of short biographies based on his interviews and memoirs that sheds new light on the lives of Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, T. S. Elliot, and others.

Publisher: New York : Ticknor and Fields, 1992
ISBN: 9780899199801
Branch Call Number: 811x HALL THEIR
Characteristics: xv, 348 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Hall, Donald 1928- Remembering poets
Notes: Includes index
Enlarged edition of: Remembering poets. c1978


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GL

To Top