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Lives of the Poets

Lives of the Poets Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A dazzling account of the entire history of poetry in the English language — from the fourteenth century to the present — by one of the most intelligent and passionate critics in the field.
        
Setting out to write his own homage to Samuel Johnson's legendary Lives of the English Poets of more than two hundred years ago, Michael Schmidt introduces us to the world tradition of poets who have written in English. From the rustic rhythms of Piers Plowman to today's postmodernists, from fifteenth-century Scotland to the contemporary Caribbean, Schmidt explores the lives and creations of more than three hundred poets, discussing their best (and sometimes worst) poems, their triumphs and tragedies, their individual genius. Here is the shared universe and work of so many great poets, including Chaucer, Donne, Blake, Behn, Burns, Wordsworth, Whitman, Dickinson, Rossetti, Yeats, Stevens, Lowell, Bishop, Ginsberg, Rich and Heaney, to name but a few. Schmidt also embraces the extraordinary poetry now emerging from Australia, New Zealand, India and other countries, and shows how these varied landscapes and cultures make their contributions to our common language. Tracing the themes and achievements of each poet's work, Schmidt demonstrates with wit and erudition how poets overshadow and inspire one another across the centuries. En route, he champions some unjustly neglected voices and outlines the ways in which history and politics intervene to shape (or sometimes misshape) the poetic imagination.
        
With infectious enthusiasm and avoiding all fashionable jargon, Schmidt speaks unapologetically for a common language — the language of poetry, which unites people across continents and across the ages. For anyone who has ever been moved by a poem, a rich and important book.

About the Author

Michael Schmidt is the editor of PN Review, which he established in 1972; the founder and editorial director of Carcanet Press, which publishes poetry and fiction; and the director of the writing school at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375406249
Author:
Schmidt, Michael
Publisher:
Random House
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
American poetry
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Poets
Subject:
English poetry
Subject:
Poets, English
Subject:
Poets, American
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
1st Vintage Books ed.
Series Volume:
1717-S
Publication Date:
2000
Binding:
Trade Cloth
Language:
English
Pages:
xii, 975 p.
Dimensions:
9.60x6.64x2.32 in. 3.32 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism

Lives of the Poets
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Product details xii, 975 p. pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375406249 Reviews:
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