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Essays on Lyric Poetry
Edited by David Baker and Ann Townsend
Graywolf Press Paper, January 2007
ISBN: 978-1-55597-460-2, ISBN10: 1-55597-460-0,
6 x 9 inches, 256 pages,
Trade Paperback, $15.00
Table of Contents
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Literary Criticism, Essays, & Biography
Poetry in English
Poetry in Translation
Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry
is a significant book on poetry from its earliest, traditional roots to its most recent and fractured forms. The essays gathered here, by an array of brilliant contemporary poets, explore the history of the lyric poem, its rhetorical modes and strategies. How does the lyric operate in an elegy, a love poem, or ode? How is meaning conveyed by a pastoral poem, the sublime, the narrative? How does the lyric investigate nature, beauty, and time? How are these lyric forms and strategies received?
gives the contemporary reader a sense of the origin, evolution, and present status of the modes and means of lyric poetry.
Contributors include: David Baker, Linda Gregerson, Richard Jackson, Eric Pankey, Carl Phillips, Stanley Plumly, and Ann Townsend.
refreshes and deepens our reading of lyric poetry. It illuminates poetic thinking. It is a rare critical book—at once artful, pragmatic, and radiant.”—
reveals many insights into the making and reading of poetry, and offers a valuable survey of the dominant features of lyric forms. Yet, of most importance, it is a book of happy immediacy—as if these seven poets decided to put on a pot of coffee and stay up talking, with much knowledge and enthusiasm, about poems all night."—
"This collection of 25 essays by seven prominent poet-scholars—incluidng the editors, Stanley Plumly, Linda Gregerson and Carl Phillips—grew out of a panel at the 2000 Associated Writing Programs conference, but the end result is far more engaging and rigorous than such a beginning might suggest. Rather than trying to cover lyric poetry's many hybrid permutations, the editors wisely narrow their focus to three primary 'modes'—the elegy, the love poem, and the ode. They then address four further categories, or 'lyric means,' rooted in core poetic 'problems'—those of nature, beauty, people, and time. Approaching their subject from the shared perspective that 'lyric poetry is itself a kind of persuasion,' and generously quoting from numerous poems along the way, the essayists draw on their respective areas of expertise to discuss what quickly becomes an impressive range of poets, including Sappho, Horace, Petrarch, Donne, Keats, Whitman, Dickinson, Millay, Stevens, Pavese, Bogan, Hass, Salamun and many others. Despite the writers' depth and breadth of knowledge, the essays are eminently readable, foregoing critical theory in favor of a deep engagement with poetics. Though an advanced poetry scholar might not find a lot of profoundly new arguments here, (s)he nonetheless might enjoy the essayists' close readings and carefully drawn connections. Other poetry readers should find the book wonderfully engaging, enlightening, and at times, lyrical."—
About the Author(s)
is the author of
Heresy and the Ideal: On Contemporary Poetry
. He teaches at Denison University in Ohio and is poetry editor of the
is the author of two collections of poems,
The Coronary Garden
Dime Store Erotics
. She directs the creative program at Denison University in Ohio.
Table of Contents
Introduction by David Baker and Ann Townsend
I. Lyric Modes
David Baker, "Elegy and Eros: Configuring Grief"
Richard Jackson, "'One’s Own Sad Stead': American Elegy as Self-Elegy"
The Love Poem
Linda Gregerson, "Rhetorical Contract in t he Erotic Poem"
Ann Townsend, "Meretricious Kisses"
Richard Jackson, "Eros and the Erotics of Writing"
Carl Phillips, "The Ode"
Stanley Plumly, "Between Things: On the Ode"
Linda Gregerson, "Ode and Empire"
II. Lyric Means
On the Pastoral: The Problem of Nature
David Baker, "The Pastoral: First and Last Things"
Eric Pankey, "Meditative Spaces"
Stanley Plumly, "Pastoral Matters"
Ann Townsend, "Arcadia Redux"
On the Sublime: The Problem of Beauty
David Baker, "The Sublime: Origins and Definitions"
Linda Gregerson, "The Gay Sublime"
Stanley Plumly, "The Intimate Sublime"
Ann Townsend, "The Technological Sublime"
On Meditation and Mediation: The Problem of People
David Baker, "'I'm Nobody': Lyric Poetry and the Problem of People"
Linda Gregerson, "Life among Others"
Stanley Plumly, "A Place for People in Lyric Poetry"
Ann Townsend, "A Mind for Metaphors"
On Subject, Story, and Style: The Problem of Time
David Baker, "To Think of Time"
Linda Gregerson, "Mortal Time"
Stanley Plumly, "Lyric Time"
Ann Townsend, "All the Instruments Agree: Taking Time's Measure"
© 2014 Macmillan