A Draft of Light

A Draft of Light

by John Hollander

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Overview

A Draft of Light by John Hollander

A glorious new collection from one of our most distinguished poets.

Here are poems that explore the ways in which ordinary objects open doors to the more hidden, subconscious truths of our inner selves: a bird of “countless colors” calls to mind “the echo . . . / of an inner event / From my forgotten past”; a subway bee sting conjures up quick unlikely visits by the muses—a momentary awareness that is “as much of a / Gift from those nine sisters as / Is ever given.”

Other poems lay bare the imperfect nature of our memories: reality altered by our inevitably less accurate but perhaps “truer” recall of past events (“memory— / As full of random holes as any / Uncleaned window is of spots / Of blur and dimming—begins at once / To interfere”). Still others examine the dramatic changes in perspective we undergo over the course of a lifetime as, in the poem “When We Went Up,” John Hollander describes the varied responses he has to climbing the same mountain at different points in his life.

In all of the poems Hollander illuminates the fluid nature of physical and emotional experience, the connections between the simple things we encounter every day and the ways in which the meaning we attribute to them shapes our lives. Like the harmonious coming together of bandstand instruments on a summer afternoon, he writes, most of what we come to know in the world is “A dying moment / Of lastingness thenceforth / Ever not to be.”

Throughout this thought-provoking collection, Hollander reveals the ways in which we are constantly creating unique worlds of our own, “a draft of light” of our own making, and how these worlds, in turn, continually shape our most basic identities and truest selves.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307494917
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/02/2012
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

JOHN HOLLANDER is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry. His first, A Crackling of Thorns, was chosen by W. H. Auden as the 1958 volume in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He wrote eight books of criticism, including the award-winning Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse and The Work of Poetry, and edited or coedited twenty-two collections, among them The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, and (with Anthony Hecht, with whom he shared the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1983) Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls.

Mr. Hollander attended Columbia and Indiana Universities and was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows of Harvard University. He taught at Connecticut College and Yale, and was a professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. In 1990 he received a MacArthur Fellowship. He died in August 2013.


From the Hardcover edition.

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