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Other titles in the Borzoi Poetry series:

Selected Poems


Selected Poems Cover

ISBN13: 9780375711985
ISBN10: 0375711988
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alongside Wallace Stevens, James Merrill, and other pillars of twentieth-century poetry, Anthony Hecht joins the Borzoi Poetry series.

Hecht, whose writing rings with the cadences of the King James Bible, and who, as an infantryman at the end of World War II, participated in the liberation of the concentration camps, lived and experienced the best and worst of the twentieth century. Readers of this volume—the first selected poems to be made from Hecht’s seven individual volumes—will be captivated by Hecht’s dark music and allusions to the literature of the past. As J. D. McClatchy explains in his introduction, Hecht was a poet for whom formal elegance was inextricably bound up with the dramatic force, thematic ambition, and powerful emotions in each poem. The rules of his art, which he both honored and transformed, are “moral principles meant finally to reveal the structure of human dilemmas and sympathies.”

This elevated sense of what poetry can accomplish defines our experience of reading Hecht, and will ensure his place in the canon for years to come.

Adam and Eve knew such perfection once,

God’s finger in the cloud, and on the ground

Nothing but springtime, nothing else at all.

But in our fallen state where the blood hunts

For blood, and rises at the hunting sound,

What do we know of lasting since the fall?

Who has not, in the oil and heat of youth,

Thought of the flourishing of the almond tree,

The grasshopper, and the failing of desire,

And thought his tongue might pierce the secrecy

Of the six-pointed starlight, and might choir

A secret-voweled, unutterable truth?

—from “A Poem for Julia”

About the Author

Anthony Hecht was born in 1923. He was the author of seven books of poetry, including The Hard Hours, which received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1968. He received the Bollingen Prize for Poetry (1983), the Eugenio Montale Award (1984), the Wallace Stevens Award (1997), and the Robert Frost Medal (2000). He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He died in 2004.

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r. allen, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by r. allen)
One of the great poets of our time kept writing to the end. This book's only faults- none of the poems written in his last two years are included and it isn't a collected poems.
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Product Details

Hecht, Anthony
Knopf Publishing Group
McClatchy, J. D.
McClatchy, J. D.
American - General
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.09 x 7.01 x 0.65 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Education » Writing
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Selected Poems New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780375711985 Reviews:
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