Part of Nature, Part of Us: Modern American Poets

Overview

Join Professor Helen Vendler in her course lecture on the Yeats poem "Among School Children". View her insightful and passionate analysis along with a condensed reading and student comments on the course.

The poets nearest to us in time often seem the most remote and difficult. Helen Vendler closes the distance. She keeps the poet in view not only as thinker and artist, but as a man or woman whose humanity never disappears in her analysis. With her penetrating critical gift, ...

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Overview

Join Professor Helen Vendler in her course lecture on the Yeats poem "Among School Children". View her insightful and passionate analysis along with a condensed reading and student comments on the course.

The poets nearest to us in time often seem the most remote and difficult. Helen Vendler closes the distance. She keeps the poet in view not only as thinker and artist, but as a man or woman whose humanity never disappears in her analysis. With her penetrating critical gift, Vendler assesses American poets from T. S. Eliot to Charles Wright.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Helen Vendler puts herself entirely at the service of the poets she is talking about. Although she writes too well to be invisible, she does not compete or pontificate either...What she does is to offer the poetry to you.
— Anatole Broyard
New Republic
Helen Vendler is the best poetry reviewer in America. Her virtues are a rigorous attending to verbal structure and texture; the ability to quote appositely and economically; a sure though not a too-exclusive taste; above all, the ability to do the poem one better by putting into words the relevant responses we might have had if we'd been smarter and more feeling...In her brilliant fusion of reviewing and criticism [she] is the legitimate successor to P. R. Blackmur and Randall Jarrell.
— William H. Pritchard
Boston Globe
Part of Nature, Part of Us is a book that asks to be reread until it is completely possessed--like a poem. It is significant not only for what Helen Vendler finds in poetry, but for what she brings to it; what she sees in what she reads and what she shows to us is a function of who she is. In all that she writes it is manifest that Helen Vendler reads new poems with knowledge and intelligence and passion and wit and warmth; she comes out to greet them. Because of that, she herself becomes a writer to whom one can return for a sense of life.
— Richard Dyer
New York Review of Books
Vendler exhibits in abundance the qualities our poets long for, virtues that make the essays and reviews here collected useful to everybody concerned with the nation's culture. High among these virtues is the fullness of Vendler's sympathy with the poets whose work she examines, but even prior to that gift there is her point of view.
— Irvin Ehrenpreis
New York Times

Helen Vendler puts herself entirely at the service of the poets she is talking about. Although she writes too well to be invisible, she does not compete or pontificate either...What she does is to offer the poetry to you.
— Anatole Broyard

New Republic

Helen Vendler is the best poetry reviewer in America. Her virtues are a rigorous attending to verbal structure and texture; the ability to quote appositely and economically; a sure though not a too-exclusive taste; above all, the ability to do the poem one better by putting into words the relevant responses we might have had if we'd been smarter and more feeling...In her brilliant fusion of reviewing and criticism [she] is the legitimate successor to P. R. Blackmur and Randall Jarrell.
— William H. Pritchard

Boston Globe

Part of Nature, Part of Us is a book that asks to be reread until it is completely possessed—like a poem. It is significant not only for what Helen Vendler finds in poetry, but for what she brings to it; what she sees in what she reads and what she shows to us is a function of who she is. In all that she writes it is manifest that Helen Vendler reads new poems with knowledge and intelligence and passion and wit and warmth; she comes out to greet them. Because of that, she herself becomes a writer to whom one can return for a sense of life.
— Richard Dyer

New York Review of Books

Vendler exhibits in abundance the qualities our poets long for, virtues that make the essays and reviews here collected useful to everybody concerned with the nation's culture. High among these virtues is the fullness of Vendler's sympathy with the poets whose work she examines, but even prior to that gift there is her point of view.
— Irvin Ehrenpreis

New Republic - William H. Pritchard
Helen Vendler is the best poetry reviewer in America. Her virtues are a rigorous attending to verbal structure and texture; the ability to quote appositely and economically; a sure though not a too-exclusive taste; above all, the ability to do the poem one better by putting into words the relevant responses we might have had if we'd been smarter and more feeling...In her brilliant fusion of reviewing and criticism [she] is the legitimate successor to P. R. Blackmur and Randall Jarrell.
Boston Globe - Richard Dyer
Part of Nature, Part of Us is a book that asks to be reread until it is completely possessed--like a poem. It is significant not only for what Helen Vendler finds in poetry, but for what she brings to it; what she sees in what she reads and what she shows to us is a function of who she is. In all that she writes it is manifest that Helen Vendler reads new poems with knowledge and intelligence and passion and wit and warmth; she comes out to greet them. Because of that, she herself becomes a writer to whom one can return for a sense of life.
New York Times - Anatole Broyard
Helen Vendler puts herself entirely at the service of the poets she is talking about. Although she writes too well to be invisible, she does not compete or pontificate either...What she does is to offer the poetry to you.
New York Review of Books - Irvin Ehrenpreis
Vendler exhibits in abundance the qualities our poets long for, virtues that make the essays and reviews here collected useful to everybody concerned with the nation's culture. High among these virtues is the fullness of Vendler's sympathy with the poets whose work she examines, but even prior to that gift there is her point of view.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674654761
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1980
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,416,844
  • Product dimensions: 0.87 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Vendler is A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

Foreword

1. Wallace Stevens

The False and True Sublime

Souvenirs and Prophecies

Stevens and Keats's "To Autumn"

Apollo's Harsher Songs

2. Marianne Moore

3. T. S. Eliot

The Waste Land

4. Robert Penn Warren

Audubon: A Vision

5. W.H. Auden

City Without Walls

6. Elizabeth Bishop

Domestication, Domesticity, and the Otherworldly

7. Randall Jarrell

The Complete Poems

The Third Book of Criticism

8. John Berryman

Dream Songs

9. Robert Lowell

A Difficult Grandeur

"Ulysses, Circe, Penelope"

Day by Day

Pudding Stone

Last Days and Last Poems

Howard Nemerov

Collected Poems

Frank O'Hara

The Virtue of the Alterable

Allen Ginsberg

Planet News, 1961-1967

The Fall of America

James Merrill

Braving the Elements

Divine Comedies

Mirabell: Books of Number

W.S. Merwin

The Miner's Pale Children

Adrienne Rich

Diving into the Wreck

Of Woman Born

Sylvia Plath

Crossing the Water

Charles Wright

The Transcendent "I"

Dave Smith

"Oh I Admire and Sorrow"

Louise Glück

Broadsides

Good Black Poems, One by One

Ammons, Berryman, Cummings

Eight Poets

Ten Poets

Books Discussed

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