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How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetryby Edward Hirsch
Synopses & Reviews
"Read a poem to yourself in the middle of the night. Turn on a single lamp and read it while you're alone in an otherwise dark room or while someone sleeps next to you. Say it over to yourself in a place where silence reigns and the din of culture-the constant buzzing noise that surrounds you-has momentarily stopped. This poem has come from a great distance to find you." So begins this astonishing book by one of our leading poets and critics. In an unprecedented exploration of the genre, Hirsch writes about what poetry is, why it matters, and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message-which is of vital importance in day-to-day life-can reach us and make a difference. For Hirsch, poetry is not just a part of life, it is life, and expresses like no other art our most sublime emotions. In a marvelous reading of world poetry, including verse by such poets as Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Charles Baudelaire, and many more, Hirsch discovers the meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives but don't know how to read it.
An examination from an awardwinning poet and critic of the reasons for and meanings of poetry offers an analysis of poems by Wordsworth, Plath, Neruda, and others to precisely delineate their unique power and their ineffable message. Reprint.
How to Read a Poem is an unprecedented exploration of poetry and feeling. In language at once acute and emotional, distinguished poet and critic Edward Hirsch describes why poetry matters and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message can make a difference. In a marvelous reading of verse from around the world, including work by Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and Sylvia Plath, among many others, Hirsch discovers the true meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives.
About the Author
Edward Hirsch is the author of six books of poems and three books of prose, among them the national bestseller How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Prix de Rome, and a MacArthur Fellowship, and is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He lives in New York.
Table of Contents
Message in a bottle — A made thing — A hand, a hook, a prayer — Three initiations — At the white heat — Five acts — Beyond desolation — Poetry and history : Polish poetry after the end of the world — Re : form — A shadowy exultation — Soul in action — "To the reader at parting" — The glossary and the pleasure of the text — A reading list and the pleasure of the catalog.
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