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Twenty Questions J.D. McClatchy

Twenty Questions

J.D. McClatchy

Published
ISBN : 9780231111720
Hardcover
224 pages
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 About the Book 

In Twenty Questions, one of Americas finest poet-critics leads readers into the mysteries of poetry: how it draws on our lives, and how it leads us back into them. In a series of linked essays progressing from the autobiographical to the critical -MoreIn Twenty Questions, one of Americas finest poet-critics leads readers into the mysteries of poetry: how it draws on our lives, and how it leads us back into them. In a series of linked essays progressing from the autobiographical to the critical - and closing with a remarkable translation of Horaces Ars Poetica unavailable elsewhere - J. D. McClatchys latest book offers an intimate and illuminating look into the poetic mind. McClatchy begins with a portrait of his development as a poet, and provides vibrant details about some of those who helped shape his sensibility - from Anne Sexton in her final days, to Harold Bloom, his enigmatic teacher at Yale, to James Merrill, a wise and witty mentor. All of these glimpses into McClatchys personal history enhance our understanding of a coming of age from ingenuous reader to accomplished poet-critic. Later sections range through poetry past and present - from Emily Dickinson to Seamus Heaney and W. S. Merwin - with incisive criticism generously interspersed with vivid anecdotes about McClatchys encounters with other poets lives and work. A critical unpacking of Alexander Popes Epistle to Miss Blount, for instance, is interwoven with a compassionate psychological portrait of a brilliant poet plagued by both romantic longings and debilitating physical deformities. There are surprising takes on the literary imagination as well: a look at Elizabeth Bishop through her letters, and a tribute to the Broadway lyrics of Stephen Sondheim.