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The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar – Essays on Poets and Poetry (Anglais) Relié – 29 mai 2015

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Description du produit

Revue de presse

'The formidable poetry critic Helen Vendler gathers together over two decades of essays, book reviews, and prose examining a broad range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. Taken together, her writings serve as an eloquent argument for the necessity of poetry both in humanistic study and in modern life.' - Christine Emba, New Criterion

'A new book by Helen Vendler is always occasion for gratitude, since for more than 50 years she has provided us with the most exacting writing about poetry of any American critic She is at her best in commentaries on Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill, and John Berryman Vendler argues for the centrality of the arts in a humanities curriculum, since their demand for subtlety of response can't be duplicated. Her own essays are a vivid proof of what such response can look like.' - William H. Pritchard, Boston Globe

'A generous collection of essays spanning 35 years, by one of our best critics, is an event worth celebrating Vendler claims, modestly, that readers including herself will always need a path into some poems and poets, and suggests that the function of criticism is to provide such a path. She does this splendidly, and creating such paths for contemporary poets who have not yet accumulated a body of interpretation for their work is a very special gift These essays will be a pleasure for readers of poetry and a service to the poets Vendler chooses for her close readings.' - Elizabeth Greene, Times Higher Education

'It's one of [Vendler's] finest books, an impressive summation of a long, distinguished career in which she revisits many of the poets she has venerated over a lifetime and written about previously. Reading it, one can feel her happiness in doing what she loves best. There is scarcely a page in the book where there isn't a fresh insight about a poet or poetry.' - --Charles Simic, New York Review of Books

'Vendler has done perhaps more than any other living critic to shape I might almost say create our understanding of poetry in English Vendler brings fresh insights on Whitman, Yeats, Eliot, Bishop, Ammons, Ashbery and others, but the most crucial piece is the title essay, an argument to place the arts at the centre of our educational system rather than its periphery: After all, it is by their arts that cultures are principally remembered. And it s through the work of exceptional critics like Vendler that those arts are made negotiable to the cultures that produced them.' - --Joel Brouwer, New York Times Book Review

'Poems are artefacts and [Vendler] shows us, often thrillingly, how those poems she considers the best specimens are made... A reader feels that she has thoroughly absorbed her subjects and conveys her understanding with candour, clarity, wit.' - --John Greening, Times Literary Supplement

Présentation de l'éditeur

One of our foremost commentators on poetry examines the work of a broad range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar gathers two decades worth of Helen Vendler's essays, book reviews, and occasional prose including the 2004 Jefferson Lecture in a single volume. Taken together, they serve as a reminder that if the arts and the patina of culture they cast over the world were deleted, we would, in Wallace Stevens' memorable formulation, inhabit a geography of the dead. These essays also remind us that without the enthusiasm, critiques, and books of each century's scholars, there would be imperfect perpetuation and transmission of culture. All of the modern poets who have long preoccupied Vendler: Wallace Stevens, Seamus Heaney, John Ashbery, and Jorie Graham are fully represented, as well as others, including Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Amy Clampitt, James Merrill, A. R. Ammons, and Mark Ford. And Vendler reaches back into the poetic tradition, tracing the influence of Keats, Yeats, Whitman, T. S. Eliot, and others in today's poets. As ever, her readings help to clarify the imaginative novelty of poems, giving us a rich sense not only of their formal aspects but also of the passions underlying their linguistic and structural invention. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar is an eloquent plea for the centrality, both in humanistic study and modern culture, of poetry's beautiful, subversive, sustaining, and demanding legacy.

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