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By William Harmon

The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents good looks. he's a sovereign, and stands at the centre.—Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "The Poet"

"[The poet] is a seer . . . . he's person . . . he's entire in himself . . . . the others are nearly as good as he, purely he sees it and so they don't. he's not one of many refrain. "—Walt Whitman, from the preface to Leaves of Grass

Poetry has constantly given upward thrust to interpretation, judgment, and controversy. certainly, the historical past of poetry feedback is as wealthy and sundry a trip because the heritage of poetry itself. yet vintage writings comparable to Emerson’s essay "The Poet" and Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass function greater than a severe "call and response": the works are amazing examples of ways the best poets themselves have written on poetics and the works in their friends and predecessors—revealing, within the procedure, a lot concerning the concept and keenness in the back of their very own works.

Spanning hundreds of thousands of years and together with thirty-three of the main influential serious essays ever written, vintage Writings on Poetry is the 1st significant anthology of feedback committed completely to poetry. starting with a survey of the heritage of poetics and offering an advent and short biography for every studying, esteemed poet and critic William Harmon takes readers from Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Poetics to the Norse mythology of Snorri Sturluson’s Skáldskaparmál. John Dryden’s An Essay of Dramatic Poesy and Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry are integrated, as is an excerpt from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s verse novel Aurora Leigh, arriving, eventually, on the modernist sensibility of "Poetic truth and significant Unreality," via Laura (Riding) Jackson. For a person attracted to the artwork and artifice of poetry, vintage Writings on Poetry is a trip really worth taking.

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