Twenty Questions / Edition 1

Twenty Questions / Edition 1

by J. D. McClatchy
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231111738

ISBN-13: 9780231111737

Pub. Date: 03/25/1999

Publisher: Columbia University Press

In Twenty Questions, one of America's finest poet-critics leads readers into the mysteries of poetry: how it draws on our lives, and how it leads us back into them. In a series of linked essays progressing from the autobiographical to the critical—and closing with a remarkable translation of Horace's Ars Poetica unavailable elsewhere—J.

Overview

In Twenty Questions, one of America's finest poet-critics leads readers into the mysteries of poetry: how it draws on our lives, and how it leads us back into them. In a series of linked essays progressing from the autobiographical to the critical—and closing with a remarkable translation of Horace's Ars Poetica unavailable elsewhere—J. D. McClatchy's latest book offers an intimate and illuminating look into the poetic mind.

McClatchy begins with a portrait of his development as a poet and as a man, and provides vibrant details about some of those who helped shape his sensibility—from Anne Sexton in her final days, to Harold Bloom, his enigmatic teacher at Yale, to James Merrill, a wise and witty mentor. All of these glimpses into McClatchy's personal history enhance our understanding of a coming of age from ingenious reader to accomplished poet-critic.

Later sections range through poetry past and present—from Emily Dickinson to Seamus Heaney and W. S. Merwin—with incisive criticism generously interspersed with vivid anecdotes about McClatchy's encounters with other poets' lives and work. A critical unpacking of Alexander Pope's "Epistle to Miss Blount" is interwoven with compassionate psychological portrait of a brilliant poet plagued by both romantic longings and debilitating physical deformities. There are surprising takes on the literary imagination as well: a look at Elizabeth Bishop through her letters, and a tribute to the Broadway lyrics of Stephen Sondheim and the tradition of light verse.

The questions McClatchy poses of poems prompt a fresh look and the last word. Free of scholarly pretension, elegantly and movingly written, Twenty Questions is a bright, open window onto a public and private experience of poetry, to be appreciated by poets, readers, and critics alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231111737
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
03/25/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

ReadingDreamingMy Fountain PenCommonplacesTwenty QuestionsReading PopeAspects of "Battle-Piece"Woman in WhiteWildness Asking for CeremonyAt Her Other DeskLaughter in the SoulSongs of a CurmudgeonThe Exile's SongChiselled BreathSitting Here Strangely on Top of the SunlightThe Lost UplandEncountering the SublimeBraving the ElementsMastersThe Art of Poetry

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