True-Love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing

True-Love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing

by Allen Grossman


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True-Love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing by Allen Grossman

True-Love is the fulfillment of revered poet-critic Allen Grossman’s long service to poetry in the interests of humanity.  Poetry’s singular mission is to bind love and truth together—love that desires the beloved’s continued life, knotted with the truth of life’s contingency—to help make us more present to each other.

In the spirit of Blake’s vow of “mental fight,” Grossman contends with challenges to the validity of the poetic imagination, from Adorno’s maxim “No poetry after Auschwitz,” to the claims of religious authority upon truth, and the ultimate challenge posed by the fact of death itself. To these challenges he responds with eloquent and rigorous arguments, drawing on wide resources of learning and his experience as master-poet and teacher. Grossman’s readings of Wordsworth, Hart Crane, Paul Celan, and others focus on poems that interrogate the real or enact the hard bargains that literary representation demands. True-Love is destined to become an essential book wherever poetry and criticism sustain one another.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226309743
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Allen Grossman is emeritus professor of the humanities at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of eleven books of poems, including, most recently, Descartes’ Loneliness, and three books of criticism.

Table of Contents


Poetry and Enlightenment (Kant on Orientation,

Whitman on the Brooklyn Ferry, and Celan on the Meridian)

Hard Problems in Poetry, Especially Valuing

Why Is Death in Arcadia? Poetic Process,

Literary Humanism, and the Example of Pastoral

The Passion of the Laocoön: Warfare of the

Religious against the Poetic Institution

Figuring the Real: Wordsworth’s “The Solitary Reaper”

On Communicative Difficulty in General and “Difficult” Poetry

in Particular: The Example of Hart Crane’s “The Broken Tower”

Coda: Teaching Literature in a Discredited Civilization:

A Talk for Teachers

NotesIndex of Names

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