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Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001

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Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A selection of the best of three decades of writing about poetry, a celebration of the “tenacious curiosity” (Los Angeles Times) of the Nobel laureate

Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the central preoccupying questions of Seamus Heaneys career: “How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?”

Along with a selection from Heaneys three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in books, ranging from formal lectures to radio commentaries about the rural Ireland of his childhood to illuminating reviews of his contemporaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets—Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors, fellows, and successors—Finders Keepers becomes, as its title heralds, “an announcement of both excitement and possession.”

Seamus Heaney received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His many books of poetry include Opened Ground, Electric Light, The Spirit Level, Seeing Things, Station Island, The Haw Lantern, and Field Work, as well as translations of Beowulf and Diary of One Who Vanished. A resident of Dublin, he has taught poetry at Oxford University and Harvard University. In 2004, Heaney was presented with the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.
Winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism

Finders Keepers collects Seamus Heaney's best prose of the last three decades. Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the preoccupying questions of Heaney's long and important career: "How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?"

Along with a selection from the poet's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), this volume includes Heaney's finest lectures and a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in book form, from short newspaper articles to radio commentaries. In its clear and challenging soundings on a wide range of poets and poetics—Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors and contemporaries—Finders Keepers is, as its title heralds, "an announcement of both excitement and possession."

"Heaney is one of the great living poets . . . and as this new selection of his essays and lectures shows, he has written often and beautifully about poets, poems, and poetry in general . . . [Finders Keepers] will delight those who have come to love Heaney's own rich and humane verse."—Adam Kirsch, The Boston Globe
"[Heaney's essays exhibit] a brimming metaphoric energy [and] a buoyant vivacity of description . . . reflective humor . . . and imaginative penetration [that are] unequalled in contemporary critical prose."—Helen Vendler, The New Yorker

"Heaney gives us appreciations of poets ranging from Robert Burns to Sylvia Plath, as well as autobiographical pieces that suggest the tension between 'Place and Displacement'—to borrow the title of his essay on recent poetry from Northern Ireland—that characterizes Heaney's own poetry . . . To read poems with Heaney, whose critical prose can be as impassioned and musical as the verse he's explicating, is to confront what they can do. 'None of us wants fake consolation in the face of real problems,' he says. 'None of us wants Disney when what we need is Dante.' Heaney takes us to those places where we can find the genuine consolation that literature can provide."—Charles Matthews, The Seattle Times

"Finders Keepers [is] a collection of Heaney's biographical reminiscences and frequently rhapsodic but meticulous critical essays. Heaney's is a lifelong romance with words . . . The delight in words that draws the poet to his vocation may be ethically neutral, Heaney seems to acknowledge, but with the vocation he inherits a responsibility that is not."—Christina Cho, The New York Times Book Review

"The common thread [in Heaney's Finders Keepers] is a spontaneous, insistent relating of poetry to his own experience. His profoundest initiations are fed back through his reading and writing. As the anthology's title suggests, the glee of discovery, the flush of pride in staking a claim, is balanced by the steadier pleasures of taking possession, of quilting another's wisdom into one's own . . . [Heaney] remains confident that 'a good poem allows you to have your feet on the ground and your head in the air simultaneously.' No other commentator has so clearly tracked the see-saw of these conflicting demands in post-war poetry."—Clair Wills, The Times Literary Supplement

0

"[The] much-lauded, much-published poet [provides] cogent literary and political commentary . . . Brining his gift [for] the sound, cadence, and meaning of words to bear on the burning issues of Northern Ireland is one area where [his] passion shines through."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Poetry has been marginalized in our culture. But there are a few masters who rise to its defense so stirringly that they can send us back to the shelves to renew our acquaintance with the poems we were once force-fed in lit classes. Seamus Heaney is one of them . . . [In] Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001, Heaney gives us appreciations of poets ranging from Robert Burns to Sylvia Plath, as well as autobiographical pieces . . . Heaney takes us to those places where we can find the genuine consolation that literature can provide."—Charles Matthews, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS)

"A better all-in-one guide through the realms of the poetical, the personal, and the political, you couldn't hope for, and a more sure-footed traveller through the territories of language, you'd be hard-pressed to find close at hand . . . By ducking out of the typical journal's miasma of self-consciously erudite pontification and holding fast to his mind's own solid ground, he cuts to the bone of the work of such architects of verse as Robert Burns, Zbigniew Herbert, Sylvia Plath, William Butler Yeats, Philip Larkin, Joseph Brodsky, and T.S. Eliot with remarkably revealing results."—Jeremy Spencer, The Memphis Flyer

"Ever adept with le mot juste, and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 for his poems 'of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past,' Seamus Heaney has proven an elegant and engaging prose stylist as well . . . Ranging from autobiographical remembrances and reflections on the provenance of certain of his own poems to explications of poems by poets he holds in particularly high esteem, [these] writings parallel the life of letters he records so evocatively in his poem 'Alphabets,' in which the artist as pre-literate young boy in rural Northern Ireland becomes the erudite Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory . . . The relationship between life and letters emerges as the common denominator for Heaney's readings of a wonderfully eclectic medley of poets: Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig, Joseph Brodsky, Czeslaw Milosz, Patrick Kavanagh, W. B. Yeats, 0 Thomas Kinsella, Paul Muldoon. Never perfunctory, always alert to the ambiguities and the idiosyncracies of the poems and the poets, Heaney consistently fulfils the desire 'to profess the surprise of poetry as well as its reliability' . . . Presented with a unassailable integrity of vision and execution, in their discovery and preservation of what Heaney refers to as 'the unlooked for' in art and in life, the pieces collected in Finders Keepers read as a compelling complement to the wealth of poems that he has produced over a career now spanning almost four decades."—Thomas O'Grady, Harvard Review

"Heaney's central preoccupation is with the truth-telling capacity of poetry, or a poet's ability to grapple with social reality without felling vindictive or overly triumphant about his or her art. Although catastrophes such as the Holocaust, Heaney writes, have led people to wonder 'if it is a delusion and a danger to expect poetry and music to do much, it is a diminishment of them and a derogation to ignore what they can do.' In the work of the poets he highly prizes—Zbigniew Herbert, W. H. Auden, Paul Muldoon, Czeslaw Milosz and even Yeats, in his unhaughty moments—Heaney detects a fluent, unresolved dialectic between lyric as pure lyric and lyric as moral conscience, between a language of expressionist exuberance and one of reasonable engagement . . . What one admires in much of Finders Keepers is the same tenacious curiosity that Heaney admires in the poetry of Herbert: the desire 'to discover whether the inner citadel of a human being is a selfish bolt-hole or an attentive listening-post.'"—John Palattella, Los Angeles Times

"[A] large, handsome book . . . There is much to be enjoyed in this ranging selection of Heaney's prose, but its final effect is to offer us the intellectual autobiography of a poet more canny, self-aware, and strange than we may have expected. What also emerges is the portrait of a decent, conscientious, scrupulous man whose artistic swervings have never betrayed his integrity."—Lachlan MacKinnon, The Observer (London)

"[Heaney's literary criticism is] as life-enhancing . . . as the poems it celebrates."—Andrew Motion

Synopsis:

A selection of the best of three decades of writing about poetry, a celebration of the tenacious curiosity (Los Angeles Times) of the Nobel laureate

Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the central preoccupying questions of Seamus Heaney's career: How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?

Along with a selection from Heaney's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in books, ranging from formal lectures to radio commentaries about the rural Ireland of his childhood to illuminating reviews of his contemporaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets--Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors, fellows, and successors--Finders Keepers becomes, as its title heralds, an announcement of both excitement and possession. Seamus Heaney received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His many books of poetry include Opened Ground, Electric Light, The Spirit Level, Seeing Things, Station Island, The Haw Lantern, and Field Work, as well as translations of Beowulf and Diary of One Who Vanished. A resident of Dublin, he has taught poetry at Oxford University and Harvard University. In 2004, Heaney was presented with the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. Winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism

Finders Keepers collects Seamus Heaney's best prose of the last three decades. Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the preoccupying questions of Heaney's long and important career: How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?

Along with a selection from the poet's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), this volume includes Heaney's finest lectures and a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in book form, from short newspaper articles to radio commentaries. In its clear and challenging soundings on a wide range of poets and poetics--Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors and contemporaries--Finders Keepers is, as its title heralds, an announcement of both excitement and possession. Heaney is one of the great living poets . . . and as this new selection of his essays and lectures shows, he has written often and beautifully about poets, poems, and poetry in general . . . Finders Keepers] will delight those who have come to love Heaney's own rich and humane verse.--Adam Kirsch, The Boston Globe Heaney's essays exhibit] a brimming metaphoric energy and] a buoyant vivacity of description . . . reflective humor . . . and imaginative penetration that are] unequalled in contemporary critical prose.--Helen Vendler, The New Yorker

Heaney gives us appreciations of poets ranging from Robert Burns to Sylvia Plath, as well as autobiographical pieces that suggest the tension between 'Place and Displacement'--to borrow the title of his essay on recent poetry from Northern Ireland--that characterizes Heaney's own poetry . . . To read poems with Heaney, whose critical prose can be as impassioned and musical as the verse he's explicating, is to confront what they can do. 'None of us wants fake consolation in the face of real problems, ' he says. 'None of us wants Disney when what we need is Dante.' Heaney takes us to those places where we can find the genuine consolation that literature can provide.--Charles Matthews, The Seattle Times

Finders Keepers is] a collection of Heaney's biographical reminiscences and frequently rhapsodic but meticulous critical essays. Heaney's is a lifelong romance with words . . . The delight in words that draws the poet to his vocation may be ethically neutral, Heaney seems to acknowledge, but with the vocation he inherits a responsibility that is not.--Christina Cho, The New York Times Book Review

The common thread in Heaney's Finders Keepers] is a spontaneous, insistent relating of poetry to his own experience. His profoundest initiations are fed back through his reading and writing. As the anthology's title suggests, the glee of discovery, the flush of pride in staking a claim, is balanced by the steadier pleasures of taking possession, of quilting another's wisdom into one's own . . . Heaney] remains confident that 'a good poem allows you to have your feet on the ground and your head in the air simultaneously.' No other commentator has so clearly tracked the see-saw of these conflicting demands in post-war poetry.--Clair Wills, The Times Literary Supplement

0

The] much-lauded, much-published poet provides] cogent literary and political commentary . . . Brining his gift for] the sound, cadence, and meaning of words to bear on the burning issues of Northern Ireland is one area where his] passion shines through.--Cleveland Plain Dealer

Poetry has been marginalized in our culture. But there are a few masters who rise to its defense so stirringly that they can send us back to the shelves to renew our acquaintance with the poems we were once force-fed in lit classes. Seamus Heaney is one of them . . . In] Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001, Heaney gives us appreciations of poets ranging from Robert Burns to Sylvia Plath, as well as autobiographical pieces . . . Heaney takes us to those places where we can find the genuine consolation that literature can provide.--Charles Matthews, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS)

A better all-in-one guide through the realms of the poetical, the personal, and the political, you couldn't hope for, and a more sure-footed travel

Synopsis:

A selection of the best of three decades of writing about poetry, a celebration of the “tenacious curiosity” (Los Angeles Times) of the Nobel laureate

Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the central preoccupying questions of Seamus Heaneys career: “How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?”

Along with a selection from Heaneys three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in books, ranging from formal lectures to radio commentaries about the rural Ireland of his childhood to illuminating reviews of his contemporaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets—Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors, fellows, and successors—Finders Keepers becomes, as its title heralds, “an announcement of both excitement and possession.”

About the Author

Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His most recent volume of poems is Electric Light (FSG, 2001). A resident of Dublin since 1976, he teaches regularly at Harvard University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374528782
Author:
Heaney, Seamus
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
American poetry
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
English poetry
Subject:
English poetry -- 20th century.
Subject:
American poetry -- 20th century.
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20030431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Product details 464 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374528782 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A selection of the best of three decades of writing about poetry, a celebration of the tenacious curiosity (Los Angeles Times) of the Nobel laureate

Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the central preoccupying questions of Seamus Heaney's career: How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?

Along with a selection from Heaney's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in books, ranging from formal lectures to radio commentaries about the rural Ireland of his childhood to illuminating reviews of his contemporaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets--Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors, fellows, and successors--Finders Keepers becomes, as its title heralds, an announcement of both excitement and possession. Seamus Heaney received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His many books of poetry include Opened Ground, Electric Light, The Spirit Level, Seeing Things, Station Island, The Haw Lantern, and Field Work, as well as translations of Beowulf and Diary of One Who Vanished. A resident of Dublin, he has taught poetry at Oxford University and Harvard University. In 2004, Heaney was presented with the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. Winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism

Finders Keepers collects Seamus Heaney's best prose of the last three decades. Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the preoccupying questions of Heaney's long and important career: How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?

Along with a selection from the poet's three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), this volume includes Heaney's finest lectures and a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in book form, from short newspaper articles to radio commentaries. In its clear and challenging soundings on a wide range of poets and poetics--Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors and contemporaries--Finders Keepers is, as its title heralds, an announcement of both excitement and possession. Heaney is one of the great living poets . . . and as this new selection of his essays and lectures shows, he has written often and beautifully about poets, poems, and poetry in general . . . Finders Keepers] will delight those who have come to love Heaney's own rich and humane verse.--Adam Kirsch, The Boston Globe Heaney's essays exhibit] a brimming metaphoric energy and] a buoyant vivacity of description . . . reflective humor . . . and imaginative penetration that are] unequalled in contemporary critical prose.--Helen Vendler, The New Yorker

Heaney gives us appreciations of poets ranging from Robert Burns to Sylvia Plath, as well as autobiographical pieces that suggest the tension between 'Place and Displacement'--to borrow the title of his essay on recent poetry from Northern Ireland--that characterizes Heaney's own poetry . . . To read poems with Heaney, whose critical prose can be as impassioned and musical as the verse he's explicating, is to confront what they can do. 'None of us wants fake consolation in the face of real problems, ' he says. 'None of us wants Disney when what we need is Dante.' Heaney takes us to those places where we can find the genuine consolation that literature can provide.--Charles Matthews, The Seattle Times

Finders Keepers is] a collection of Heaney's biographical reminiscences and frequently rhapsodic but meticulous critical essays. Heaney's is a lifelong romance with words . . . The delight in words that draws the poet to his vocation may be ethically neutral, Heaney seems to acknowledge, but with the vocation he inherits a responsibility that is not.--Christina Cho, The New York Times Book Review

The common thread in Heaney's Finders Keepers] is a spontaneous, insistent relating of poetry to his own experience. His profoundest initiations are fed back through his reading and writing. As the anthology's title suggests, the glee of discovery, the flush of pride in staking a claim, is balanced by the steadier pleasures of taking possession, of quilting another's wisdom into one's own . . . Heaney] remains confident that 'a good poem allows you to have your feet on the ground and your head in the air simultaneously.' No other commentator has so clearly tracked the see-saw of these conflicting demands in post-war poetry.--Clair Wills, The Times Literary Supplement

0

The] much-lauded, much-published poet provides] cogent literary and political commentary . . . Brining his gift for] the sound, cadence, and meaning of words to bear on the burning issues of Northern Ireland is one area where his] passion shines through.--Cleveland Plain Dealer

Poetry has been marginalized in our culture. But there are a few masters who rise to its defense so stirringly that they can send us back to the shelves to renew our acquaintance with the poems we were once force-fed in lit classes. Seamus Heaney is one of them . . . In] Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001, Heaney gives us appreciations of poets ranging from Robert Burns to Sylvia Plath, as well as autobiographical pieces . . . Heaney takes us to those places where we can find the genuine consolation that literature can provide.--Charles Matthews, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS)

A better all-in-one guide through the realms of the poetical, the personal, and the political, you couldn't hope for, and a more sure-footed travel

"Synopsis" by ,
A selection of the best of three decades of writing about poetry, a celebration of the “tenacious curiosity” (Los Angeles Times) of the Nobel laureate

Whether autobiographical, topical, or specifically literary, these writings circle the central preoccupying questions of Seamus Heaneys career: “How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage, and the contemporary world?”

Along with a selection from Heaneys three previous collections of prose (Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue, and The Redress of Poetry), the present volume includes a rich variety of pieces not previously collected in books, ranging from formal lectures to radio commentaries about the rural Ireland of his childhood to illuminating reviews of his contemporaries. In its soundings of a wide range of poets—Irish and British, American and Eastern European, predecessors, fellows, and successors—Finders Keepers becomes, as its title heralds, “an announcement of both excitement and possession.”

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