Poet, critic, biographer, and Catholic intellectual Paul Mariani delivers huge armfuls of experience and knowledge in this wide-ranging collection of twenty-four essays. As a man of faith in a secular world, Mariani brings to light issues surrounding spirituality and poetry through discussions of the Gnostics, Roman history, the Bible, John of the Cross, Rilke, Robert Pack, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, and the poets he most admiresGerard Manley Hopkins, William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, John Berryman, and Robert Lowell.
Charged with spiritual and intellectual awe, Mariani fully engages with his subjects, from their lives to their works to their grand impact on Mariani's own life as a poet. His prose flows easily from anecdote to analysis, from Paterson, the setting of Williams's great tribute poem, to Manhattan, where Mariani haunts old neighborhoods and the Brooklyn Bridge, searching for traces of Hart Crane. By infusing scholarly criticism with a personal voice, Mariani allows us to see the relationship between poetry and a sublime presence in the universe.
Serious reading for anyone interested in modern and contemporary poetry, God and the Imagination offers elegant and original insights into a wide variety of poetic concerns. But it is most extraordinary for its celebration of the lives of the poets, which allow us, in Mariani's words, "to recover what would otherwise be lost to time and silence."
|Publisher:||University of Georgia Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.03(d)|
About the Author
PAUL MARIANI is the author of Thirty Days: On Retreat with the Exercises of St. Ignatius and five volumes of poetry, including, most recently, The Great Wheel. Besides several critical studies, he has also published biographies of Robert Lowell, William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, and John Berryman. Mariani currently holds a Chair in English at Boston College.
Table of Contents
|I.||Writing the Self|
|Hopkins As Lifeline||30|
|Quid Pro Quo||38|
|Eight or Nine Ways of Looking at a River||45|
|The Brain That Hears the Music||55|
|Kinnell's Legacy: On "The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World"||68|
|Lowell on Berryman on Lowell||77|
|The Hole in the Middle of the Book: Absence and Presence in Biography||105|
|Staring into the Abyss: Robert Pack's Later Poems||122|
|Hart Crane: "Clenched Beaks Coughing for the Surge Again"||143|
|Skyscraper Soup: Two Views of Twenties New York||148|
|Frost among the Poets||163|
|Reconfiguring Flame: The Art of Biography||179|
|III.||God and the Imagination|
|Summoning the Dead: Politics and the Sublime in Contemporary English Poetry||197|
|The Intensest Rendezvous: On the Poems of John of the Cross||214|
|The Ineffability of What Counts||223|
|Toward a Sacramental Language||233|
|God and the Imagination||245|
|"The Unshapeable Shock Night": Pain, Suffering, and the Redemptive Imagination||258|