The Poet's Work: 29 Poets on the Origins and Practice of Their Art

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Reginald Gibbons
University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 1989 - Literary Criticism - 305 pages
"This anthology brings together essays by 20th-century poets on their own art: some concern themselves with its deep sources and ultimate justifications; others deal with technique, controversies among schools, the experience behind particular poems. The great Modernists of most countries are presented here—Paul Valéry, Federico García Lorca, Boris Pasternak, Fernando Pessoa, Eugenio Montale, Wallace Stevens—as are a range of younger, less eminent figures from the English-speaking world: Seamus Heaney, Denise Levertov, Wendell Berry. . . . The reader will find here a lively debate over the individualistic and the communal ends served by poetry, and over other issues that divide poets: inspiration and craft; the use or the condemnation of science; traditional and 'organic' form."—Alan Williamson, New York Times Book Review

 

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I like the second section of the book. It's more understandable. I really like what Dylan Thomas has to say. Read full review

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Contents

Ars Poetica?
4
Toward Explaining Heteronymy
6
The Word Culture
17
Some Statements
24
Theory and Divertissement
29
Words Before a Reading
43
The Irrational Element in Poetry
49
The Formal Share
60
Notes on Poetry
162
A Poets Notebook
171
General Aims and Theories
180
Poetic Manifesto
185
Projective Verse and The Practice
192
The Pleasures of Formal Poetry
204
Idiosyncrasy and Technique
216
The Woman at the Washington Zoo
231

Intentions Imaginary Interview
66
A Poets Journal
72
The Vocation of the Poet in the Modern World
83
What Is Not Poetry?
93
The Three Faces of Love
111
Poetry and Science
122
Why Write
137
The Specialization of Poetry
140
Poetry
160
Writing
241
Some Notes on Organic Form
255
Notes on Poetic Form
261
Feelings into Words
264
The Real Work Excerpts from an Interview
284
A Very Selective Reading List
298
Notes on the Poets and Selections
302
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About the author (1989)

Reginald Gibbons is professor of English at Northwestern University and the editor of TriQuarterly magazine. He is the author and translator of several books of poetry.

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