The Poetry of Everyday Life

Overview

Poet, scholar, teacher, editor, and critic John Hollander has been a colossal presence in the American literary community for several decades. He is known for his mastery of prosody as well as for the wit, nuance, and charm of his poetry. Filled with literary, philosophical, and religious allusions, his work has been compared to the neoclassical writers of the seventeenth century. A difficult and rewarding poet, Hollander challenges his readers to bring everything they possess ...
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Overview

Poet, scholar, teacher, editor, and critic John Hollander has been a colossal presence in the American literary community for several decades. He is known for his mastery of prosody as well as for the wit, nuance, and charm of his poetry. Filled with literary, philosophical, and religious allusions, his work has been compared to the neoclassical writers of the seventeenth century. A difficult and rewarding poet, Hollander challenges his readers to bring everything they possess to the reading of each poem, as he does to the writing of them.

In The Poetry of Everyday Life, Hollander grapples with issues of poetry and the imagination. In a series of aphorisms, The book's title essay distinguishes between poetry's relations to the rest of life and other kinds of literature that merely deal literally with it. The essay introduces a range of other prose writing, from poetic fictions in prose (which Hollander calls "enigmatic narratives") to literary essays and memoirs of poets such as W. H. Auden, James Merrill, and Anthony Hecht. There are observations on the eternal problem of verse translation, as well as an interview with Langdon Hammer. Unburdened by theoretical agendas, both the short fables and the critical essays in this volume concern various aspects of the ways in which poetry can engage life most strongly when it most deeply regards itself.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472066841
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/1999
  • Series: Poets on Poetry Series
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Poetry of Everyday Life 4
I Short Fictions and Fables
In the Year of the Comet 21
Tales of the Supernatural 24
The Treasure Hunt 40
The Twin's Story 44
Terah's Idols 50
In Ancient Days 53
From The Memoirs of an Administrator 56
II Poetic Translation
Found in Translation: Translating the Classics 61
Circe's Children: Translating La Fontaine 72
Quadrophenia: Translating the Pessoas 87
III Some Other Poets
Fabulous Traveler: Daryl Hine 101
An Inevitable Plot: Anthony Hecht 113
Richard Howard: An Introduction 125
In Memoriam: James Merrill 131
A Word about Kenneth Koch 140
W. H. Auden: A First Encounter 148
IV Something of Myself
Working through Poems: An Interview by Langdon Hammer 161
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