Prophets and Professors: Essays on the Lives and Works of Modern Poets

Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (1) from   
  • Used (1) from $0.00   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 0 of 1
We’re having technical difficulties. Please try again shortly.
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 0 of 1
Sort by
Sending request ...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Throughout these 23 review-essays, Bawer shows his love for poetry by attacking those who have allowed it, he says, ``to be turned into something that only poets read.'' Why poetry has become a literary stepchild is the subject of Bawer's thoughtful assessment of American poets from Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens to newer ones such as Dave Smith. Running through these critical commentaries is the theme that too many younger poets are caught up in romantic excess, that the influence of Allen Ginsberg and the Beats and the confessional self-destruction of Sylvia Plath have excused so much of the sloppy, informal and poured-out emotion of today's poets. Bawer is clearly puzzled by the attention given to many leading contemporary poets, but he also attacks poetry workshops, PBS's Voices and Visions series, literary interviews and critic Helen Vendler. There are times when one wonders just who or what Bawer does like. But he clearly cares about poetry, citing numerous examples to back up his opinions. He is on the side of the formalists and those for whom poetry is not a game of literary gossip. This book is an intelligent study by someone who has read and judged a great deal of poetry and criticism. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In these essays, which range from the Modernist and Imagist movements to the Beats and the confessional poets, Bawer (Coast to Coast, Story Line Pr., 1993) makes no bones about his position on literary figures or topics. He states in his preface, "When a society takes art seriously, it argues about it." He is ready to argue his theses and prepared to defend them. For example, William Carlos Williams has been hailed as one of the most influential poets of the 20th century, but Bawer reveals through scholarly explication why Williams's theories actually have been damaging to the state of contemporary verse. After reading "The Fictive Muse of Wallace Stevens," the reader walks away possessing a true understanding of his body of work. Many readers may disagree with Bawer, but the arguments are firm and serious. He also includes an essay criticizing the literary interview and its often banal and trivial dialog. These illuminating essays are highly recommended for literary collections.Tim Gavin, Episcopal Acad., Merion, Pa.
A rare pleasure: a richly detailed, erudite, and non-academic (huzza!) critique of literary modernism and postmodernism that is positively thrilling in its unabashed love of poetry and commitment to the project of restoring some semblance of order to its chaos (and the even greater chaos of its academic explicators [exploiters?]) in the late 20th century. Bawer's elitism may (and should) infuriate; his trenchant analysis should remind us of what is at stake. No index. (RC) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885266057
  • Publisher: Story Line Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)