Poet and critic Dana Gioia, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, signals his ambitious artistic tendencies and his firm spiritual commitments from the first poem of this new collection. A versatile poet, he works through traditional, inherited forms as well as through the free verse characteristic of the work of many of his contemporaries.
Two of America’s recent poets laureate have published small books on American hometowns—one focusing on the hometown in literature and film, the other a series of recollections from the poet’s childhood.
In his introduction, Joseph Epstein offers a broad definition of literary genius: “Timelessness, grandeur of vision, originality of outlook—all these in concert and worked at a high power comprise genius in the writer.” Literary artists till some of the same fields of human experience that are staked
As John Updike’s readers know, he was haunted by death, but he lived in hope that his words would live and speak to other children of earth. “I think of [my] books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a country-ish teenaged boy finding them and having them speak to him.”
This collection, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, opens with “Theories of Time and Space,” a poem that alerts the reader to the territory under artistic surveillance. It begins with the lines: “You can get there from here, though / there’s no going home.
A meteor from the universe of Wystan Hugh Auden flashed into the atmosphere of American culture in 1994 when “Funeral Blues,” a poem written in 1936, was recited in a eulogy scene in the movie Three Weddings and a Funeral.