Eight symposia pieces, all originally published at various times in New World Writing. In each, three poets independently...

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THE CONTEMPORARY POET AS ARTIST AND CRITIC

Eight symposia pieces, all originally published at various times in New World Writing. In each, three poets independently comment upon a poem, (a new one, usually), and the author of the poem returns the compliment with his own comments. These artists and/or critics represent what we might as well call The Poetry Establishment (the academic wing of it, anyway), so the whole undertaking, above and beyond its intrinsic merits (which are not always considerable), has a shiny officialized surface, suitable for framing of the party line. (Of course the editor, like a good politician, denies this in his foreword: ""There is no general adherence to a single school."") Not surprisingly, the best poems come from the best poets (Lowell, Noethke, Ransome), and they in turn receive the most interesting and illuminating responses. The set on Skunk Hour is worth the book. Somehow the approach to ilbur's Love and Kunitz's Father, two mightily distinguished lyrics, does not lead anywhere- the reference points keep scattering. When we arrive at Eberhart, Shapiro and a faint frolic of Auden's, off-tangent testiness, or attitudinizing or solemnilies or cuteness creeps in- and this goes for both the poems and the resultant iter dicta. The symposia has proved popular, especially with collegiates; the collection should extend that interest, though not necessarily covering the participants with glory.

Pub Date: July 14, 1964

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1964