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It is the mark of [Vendler's] greatness as a critic that, when there is a conflict between the schematism and the poem, it is the schematism which must give way. The critic must be faithful to the poem, not to her preconceptions...Her readings of individual poems are rarely less than exemplary...The kind of thing [Vendler] is after is clear enough—the sort of poetry after which 'the world never seems the same again'. Of all critics, she seems one of those best qualified to find it.
— Roger Caldwell